OUAT to get pulses research centre
BHUBANESWAR:THE Indian Institute of Pulses Research will soon set up its regional centre in Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) campus here for developing technology to boost pulses production in the State. Currently, OUAT has pulse seed hubs in seven districts in the State.
Informing this at the 57th Foundation Day of OUAT here on Friday, Vice-Chancellor Surendranath Pasupalak said the centre will provide technological inputs and support to the farmers to grow quality pulses seeds.The VC said the agriculture university also plans to establish six farm technology training centres in Odisha to train youths in employment generating courses like climate change, environment science, landscape architecture, conservation biology, wildlife science and management. This apart, new PG departments will be opened in College of Agriculture in Chiplima and Bhawanipatna and College of Horticulture at Chiplima.
Pasupalak said, the university had recently developed five rice varieties - Pradeep, Pratibha, Hasanta, Govinda and Asutosh and these have been certified by the government. Among these, Hasanta is resistant to Brown Plant Hopper pest, which is the reason behind crop loss every year. “OUAT is collaborating with HarvestPlus-India for bio-fortification of rice varieties with zinc and iron to combat malnutrition,” he said, adding that the varsity has introduced cultivation of dragon fruit this crop season.
In another initiative, OUAT is implementing ICAR’s ‘Farmer FIRST’ ( farmers’ Farm, Innovations, Resources, Science and Technology) project in Khurda district under which, farmers are being involved in agriculture related research programmes.
On the occasion, the foundation stone for a Techno Park Cottage was laid on the university premises.
Inaugurating the foundation day function, Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy emphasised on validation and popularisation of technologies innovated by rural farmers of the State. He impressed upon the scientists to develop technologies for enhancing income of farmers residing in rural areas. “Natural resources available in the State may be appropriately utilised for enhancing agricultural productivity,” he added.