Participatory varietal selection in rice in the Punjab
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Mali, S.S.; Virk, Daljit S.; Singh, K.B.; Witcombe, John R.. 2001. Participatory varietal selection in rice in the Punjab . In: An exchange of experiences from South and South East Asia: Proceedings of the international symposium on Participatory plant breeding and participatory plant genetic resources enhancement, Pokhara, Nepal, 1-5 May 2000 . Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), Participatory Research and Gender Analysis (PRGA), Program Coordination Office, Cali, CO. p. 283-290.
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Participatory varietal selection (PVS) was used to try to identify an alternative to the most popular rice variety, Pusa 44, in the Patiala district of the Punjab. Pusa 44 (released in 1993 in India but not recommended for the Punjab) is grown in over 50% of the rice area in Patiala. It is highly susceptible lo bacterial leaf blight (BLB) but is preferred by famers because of its high yield and resistance to lodging. Pusa 44 is late maturing and needs to be transplanted very early in the season--as early as the first week in May, when temperatures are very high. This greatly increases demand for irrigation water and accelerates the lowering of the water table, a serious problem in Patiala and the Punjab. It also causes an increase in humidity in Ihe hot season, contributing to the builld-up of insect populations on the rice, which is a continuous host after the harvest of sunflower. Because of the lack of a suitable alternative, no recommended variety has replaced Pusa 44 so far. In me program described here, 12 Indian state-released varieties were provided to famers to test. Among these 12 varieties, only two were recommended for the Punjab (PR 111 and PR 114). We tested out-of state varieties since formal multilocational trials do not always determine the precise adaptation of a variety. Three varieties, lR64, IR36, and PR 114, were identified as better performing than Pusa 44, and of these, me best option was IR64. This variety yielded more man Pusa 44, even when transplanted three to four weeks later. This has several additional benefits; it can reduce me need for irrigation water by 20% to 30%, and allow green manuring, to improve soil fertility, between the wheat and rice crops. lR64 is resistant to BLB and has better grain quality than Pusa 44. Further testing of IR64 for release in Punjab is being undertaken.
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