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CSSRI Developed Salt Tolerant Crops Varieties Added 15 million Tonnes Foodgrains in India Food Coffer

New Delhi (ABC Live):The Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI) is a premier research institute dedicated to pursue interdisciplinary research on salinity/ alkalinity management and use of poor quality irrigation waters in different agro-ecological zones of the country. The Govt. of India constituted an Indo-American Team to assist the Indian Council of Agricultural Research to develop a comprehensive water management programme for the country. As a follow up of these recommendations, it was decided to establish the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute under Fourth Plan period.

The Institute started functioning at Hisar (Haryana) on 1st March, 1969. Later on, it was decided to shift this Institute to Karnal during October, 1969. In February 1970, the Central Rice Research Station, Canning Town, West Bengal was transferred to CSSRI, Karnal to conduct research on problems of coastal salinity.

Another Regional Research Station for carrying out research on problems of inland salinity prevailing in the black soil region of western parts of the country started functioning at Anand (Gujarat) from February, 1989. As per recommendation of the QRT, the station was shifted from Anand to Bharuch in April 2003.

Keeping in view the need of undertaking research for situations under surface drainage congestion, high water table conditions, relatively heavy textured soils, and indurated pan for managing alkali soils of Central and Eastern Gangetic Plains, another Regional Station was established during October, 1999 at Lucknow.

The Coordinating Unit of AICRP on Management of Salt Affected Soils and Use of Saline Water in Agriculture is located at the Institute with a network of eight research centres located in different agroecological regions of the country (Agra, Bapatala, Bikaner, Gangawati, Hisar, Indore, Kanpur and Tiruchirapalli). The Coordinating Unit of AICRP on Water Management functioned at the Institute from early seventies till it was shifted to Rahuri (Maharastra) in 1990.

The Institute has developed technologies for the reclamation of alkali soils with the addition of chemical amendments, reclamation of saline soils through subsurface drainage, development and release of salt tolerant crop varieties of rice, wheat and mustard and the reclamation of salt affected soils through salt tolerant trees.

As such, nearly 1.5 million ha salt affected lands have been reclaimed and put to productive use. It has been estimated that reclaimed area is contributing more than 15 million tonnes foodgrains to the national pool.

For waterlogged saline soils, subsurface drainage technology developed by the Institute initially for Haryana has been widely adopted and replicated in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharastra and Karnataka. About 60,000 ha waterlogged saline areas have been reclaimed using this technology. Artificial groundwater recharge is another area of interest for regions with depleting wter table. Besides, the technologies are also being developed for the salt affected areas of vertisols and coastal regions of the country.

Mandate

  • To undertake basic and applied researches for generating appropriate agrochemical/ biological/ hydraulic technologies for reclamation and management of salt affected soils and use of poor quality irrigation waters for sustainable production in different agro-ecological zones
  • Evolve, evaluate and recommend strategies that promote adoption of preventive/ ameliorative technology
  • To act as repository of information on resource inventories and management of salt affected soils and waters
  • To be a nucleus of researches on salinity management and co-ordinate/support the network of research with universities, institutions and agencies in the country for generating and testing location–specific technologies
  • To act as a centre for training in salinity researches in the country and region and provide consultancy
  • To collaborate with relevant national and international agencies in achieving the above goals

Why Salt Tolerant Varieties Approach?

  • Salt tolerant varieties of crops require less chemical amendments
  • Varietal approach is simple, cheap and eco-friendly
  • Suitable for poor resource farmers due to low cost

Salt tolerant high yielding varieties developed by the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI);

  • Rice – CSR-49, CSR 36, CSR 30 (basmati type), CSR 27, CSR 23, CSR 13 and CSR 10
  • Rice variety for coastal regions:- Butnath (CSRC(S) 5-2-2-5) and Sumati- CSRC-CSRC(S) 2-1-7
  • Wheat :- KRL 213, KRL 210, KRL 19 and KRL 1-4
  • Indian Mustard:- CS 56, CS 54 and   CS 52
  • Chick pea (gram)- Karnal Chana 1
  • Genotypes Registered as salt tolerant germplasms
  • Dhaincha (sesbania)- CSD 137 and CSD-123

On 8th October, 2013 in a programme organized in KVK, Raebareli Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Member of Parliament, Raebareli and Chairperson, UPA distributed the salt tolerant varieties of wheat KRL-19 and KRL-213 among farmers.

Out of 1.37 million hectare sodic lands in Uttar Pradesh, more than 50,000 hectares are severely affected by soil sodicity problem in Raebareli district. Currently 25,000 hectares of land have been reclaimed in the district by different government agencies using gypsum based technology developed by CSSRI. This has increased the productivity of these lands to about five tonnes/hectare/year. However, there is a scope of further increase in productivity by using salt tolerant varieties of rice and wheat to the tune of about 1-1.5 t/ha and 2 t/ha, respectively without any additional inputs in the partially reclaimed sodic soil.

Review Overview

As such, nearly 1.5 million ha salt affected lands have been reclaimed and put to productive use. It has been estimated that reclaimed area is contributing more than 15 million tonnes foodgrains to the national pool.

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