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Kerala Agriculture University


India Develops Two New Hybrid Rice Varieties

India’s Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has developed new hybrid rice varieties that have higher yields and are more nutritious compared to other rice varieties in the southern state of Kerala.

According to KAU’s project coordinator Prof. S. Leena Kumary, the new rice variety Mo.16 (Uma) has an average yield of around 6 - 6.5 tons per hectare which can increase to 8 to 9 tons per hectare under favorable conditions. The rice variety Mo.21 (Prathyasa) has an average yield of around 5.5 – 6 tons per hectare. The yields of these varieties are about 2 – 3 times the national average yield of around 3 tons per hectare. The new varieties have good milling rate (of around 65%) and cooking quality. Mo.21 has higher content of zinc and is more nutritious than other varieties, Prof. S. Leena Kumary told Oryza.

Rice consumption in Kerala stands at around 3.8 – 4 million tons, but the state produces just about 600,000 tons of rice annually due to lack of irrigation and low hybrid rice cultivation.

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