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Non-GM seeds help in 5-fold production in 60 yrs

Agriculture institutions, over the years, developed more than 2,000 seed varieties of cereals

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Oct 10 2016 3:11PM | Updated Date: Oct 10 2016 3:12PM

Non-GM seeds help in 5-fold production in 60 yrs

The debate regarding genetically modified crops and seeds is going on country wide.  A recent PIL in the Supreme Court may force the government to delay its final decision on GM mustard.

 
Transgenic mustard which will be get clearance in the near future may disappoint agriculture scientists but it will not affect the country's research in public institutions on non-GM high-yielding hybrid and non-hybrid seed varieties.
 
The transgenic variety of mustard unlikely to be released for the coming Rabi (winter crop) season, the focus will be on non-GM varieties to help increase production.
 
After all the efforts of Indian agriculture scientists saw the nation record a fivefold increase in food grain production in six decades from 50.8 million tonnes (MT) in 1950-51 to 252.22 MT in 2015-16.
 
Although net sown area also increased during the period (from 119 million hectares to over 141 million hectares), high-yielding seed varieties played a key role in increasing production.
 
Expansion of irrigation coverage too helped in increasing production but it was supported by the development of a number of drought and water-logging resistant varieties of seeds.
 
The seeds are in testing phase in the country's public research institutions like ICAR, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) and state\central agriculture universities.
 
These institutions, over the years, developed more than 2,000 seed varieties of cereals, including rice, wheat, maize and millet and over 700 varieties of oilseeds, which led to the phenomenal growth in food grain production.