BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Saturday requested the Centre to set up a national level pulses research institute in Odisha.
In a letter to Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said pulses are grown in about 20.88 lakh ha in Odisha - 6.86 lakh ha in Kharif and 14.02 lakh ha in Rabi - which is higher than most States in India.
Stating that moong, urad, arhar, kulthi, gram, cowpea, field pea and lentil are some of the major pulses grown in the State, Naveen said Odisha has about 16 lakh ha of rice fallow which can be easily utilised for cultivation of pulses during Rabi season.
The Chief Minister said the Seed Replacement Rate (SLR) of pulses is generally low due to non-availability of suitable cold tolerant varieties in the State as pulses are grown in large areas during winter season.
Many indigenous local varieties of pulses suitable to the climatic conditions are being used but the yield potential of these varieties is below the national average, Naveen said arguing for the need for research on pulses in the State to enhance income of farmers.
Naveen said the Government has taken several steps to bridge the yield gap in pulses like inviting various national and international institutes to develop suitable location-specific new varieties for the State and signed MoUs with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and National Seeds Corporation for taking up seed production within the State.