15th November 2013, Patna
The variety of makhana (Euryale ferox Salisb.) has been developed and released by ICAR Research Complex for Eastern Region, Patna, for the first time in India. The Variety Release Committee of the institute approved the release of Makhana variety for Bihar, Asom, Chhattisgarh and Odisha on 15th November, 2013.
This variety developed through pure line selection has the production potential of 2.8 – 3.0 t/ha. in farmers’ field which is almost two fold higher than the productivity of traditional cultivars. Euryale ferox Salisb. is an important aquatic crop, commonly known as Makhana, Gorgon nut or Fox nut. It is grown in stagnant perennial water bodies like ponds, land depressions, oxbow lakes, swamps and ditches. Its commercial cultivation is limited to North Bihar, Manipur, parts of West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.
The institute has also developed the technology for makhana cultivation in cropping system mode, wherein makhana is being grown at a shallow water depth of just about 30cm. After makhana, wheat/barseem or other rabi crops like lentil, gram or vegetables could be cultivated in the same field. Swarna Vaidehi could be grown successfully in stagnant water bodies and also in field method of makhana cultivation.
Makhana-fish-water chestnut cultivation in integrated mode is also gaining popularity among the stakeholders. Presently, makhana is being grown commercially only in approximately 13000 ha. with approximate seed yield of about 21000 tonnes in Darbhanga, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Saharsa, Supaul, Araria, Kishanganj, Purnea and Katihar districts of Bihar.
Currently this variety is being grown by about 50 progressive farmers and cooperative groups located in Darbhanga, Purnea, Madhubani, Katihar and Sitamarhi districts of Bihar.
(Source: ICAR Research Complex for Eastern Region, Patna)