Karnal gets tissue culture lab for disease-free cane seeds

Parveen Arora

Tribune News Service

Karnal, February 11

The Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Regional Centre here, has established a tissue culture lab and a growth chamber to ensure supply of disease-free quality sugarcane seeds, which will further result in the higher productivity.

Sugarcane is a popular cash crop among farmers and this lab will help in the production of disease-free sugarcane seeds and also help farmers in replacing the conventional uneconomic old varieties, said the scientists.

Coimbatore Sugarcane Breeding Institute Director Dr Bakshi Ram and head of the Karnal centre Dr SK Pandey inaugurated the lab and the chamber. Besides, they also inaugurated the production of ‘chemical-free jaggery’ and selling of sugarcane in pieces on the premises. A solar panel enabled mobile unit which will be used for cutting eye-buds as well as treating it, was also launched by the director.

“The new unit developed can be used anywhere in the centre to save time, energy and labour,” said Dr Bakshi, adding that during off season, the solar system may be utilised for running tube well and irrigation purposes in the fields.

Highlighting the benefits of the lab and chamber, Dr Bakshi and Dr Pandey told The Tribune that presently they were facing a challenge of shortage of good quality seeds of sugarcane. “India produces around 350 million tonne sugarcane in around 5.23 million hectares. It produced around 26 million tonnes of sugar during 2020-21. Around 195-lakh tonnes of seeds are required for the country, but we produce very less number of them. The farmers too were used to old varieties for the next production, which was a big challenge for us. We started seed replacement by producing more good quality and high yielding seeds,” said Dr Bakshi. Dr Pandey also said the chamber would maintain temperature of the seeds to ensure their quality.


Will help replace old varieties

Sugarcane is a popular cash crop among farmers and this lab will help in the production of disease-free sugarcane seeds and also help farmers in replacing the conventional uneconomic old varieties, said the scientists.

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