Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI), Karnal has released a salt tolerant variety of Basmati rice, CSR 30. This is a very popular Basmati variety among the farmers of Haryana. According to the latest estimates, about 60 per cent area of basmati rice cultivation is captured by CSR 30 in Haryana state. The progressive and innovative farmers of Haryana are major drivers in popularizing CSR 30. These farmers took challenge to grow variety CSR 30 in moderately salt affected and reclaimed soils.
Mr. Isham Singh (40 Yr) and Mr. Vikram Singh (36 Yr) of Kachhwa village are two major farmers who have been innovators and motivators for others. CSSRI, Karnal chose Mr. Isham Singh’s agricultural land for demonstration of variety CSR 30. Mr. Isham Singh reported the performance of CSR 30. This variety has good potential to grow in saline and sodic environments, possesses good disease and insect pests’ resistance, and has high market value and export demand. CSR 30 is comparatively better than the earlier basmati varieties. Earlier, Mr. Singh could harvest 11-13 quintals per acre (28 - 33 quintals per hectare), but later on with the technical support of CSSRI scientists in field demonstrations, he is now able to harvest 13-15 quintals grain yield per acre. Other farmers of Kachhwa and nearby villages came in to contact with Mr. Isham Singh and developed a large knowledge network in cultivating CSR 30.
Mr. Vikram Singh, a young farmer of the same village also adopted CSR 30 in order to get better production from the sodic-saline soil. Encouraged by his success, his family purchased 30 acres of land near Itarasi, Madhya Pradesh, where he has started cultivating CSR 30. In the first year, he harvested about 30 quintals per hectare, while this year he has harvested about 37 quintals grain yield per hectare. Mr. Vikram Singh reported that CSR 30 has compatibility with wider soil and climatic conditions. This is a cash variety and it has a greater market demand than others. Now, it has been realized that genetic attributes, wider flexibility and better market demand of CSR 30 could make it popular in diverse agroecosystems; and made it being a most popular rice variety in salt affected and sodic soils through farm led extension system. Even in the areas having normal soils without the problems of salinity and sodicity stresses, CSR 30 rice variety is giving better performance.
Dr. S. K. Sharma, Head, Crop Improvement at CSSRI, Karnal informed that the successful cultivation of CSR 30 variety has increased production and income of farmers. Haryana State Seed Production and Development Corporation, National Seed Corporation and other government and private seed agencies also supported in increasing the production potential through production and supply of good quality seeds.
(Source: Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal)