Goa to revive Pusa Basmati cultivation

PTI, PANAJI | 10 September 2013 20:33 IST

Agricultural scientists in Goa are trying to revive the cultivation of Pusa variety of Basmati rice, which was tried unsuccessfully in the coastal state about a decade back.

India Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) has been working with the farmers in Taleigao village near here to shift the paddy cultivation from normal to Pusa variety of Basmati rice, which has a high export value.

Initial attempts are garnering a good response with farmers coming forward to plant this variety and some even ready to cultivate it on a large area of land in Taleigao village, ICAR scientist Dr H R Prabhudesai said.

"This crop grows well in monsoons. The farmers who tried it are now fetching good results of this export variety of the rice," he said.

The variety, developed by Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), was initially tried by farmers in the coastal state in 1990s, Prabhudesai said, adding that results were good but Goa lacked the facility to mill the rice.

State agriculture department cultivated 1,500 hectare of its land with this variety then, but later shifted to the conventional variety, the scientist said.

"The improper milling resulted in the rice getting cut into pieces which discouraged the farmers," he said.

The ICAR scientists reworked on their attempt this year and have been getting an encouraging response.

"Goa still does not have milling facility but the farmers have decided to visit nearing Ramnagar in Karnataka to mill the rice," he said.

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