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Dr Bakshi Ram of ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute Gets Best Agricultural Scientist Award

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare presented the ‘Outlook Best Agricultural Scientist award for outstanding contribution’ to Dr Bakshi Ram, Director of ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore during the Outlook Agricultural Conclave held at New Delhi on 24 February 2020. 

The sugarcane variety Co 0238 developed by Dr Bakshi Ram, a breeder of international repute, has paved way for sweet revolution in the country, in the northern states, in particular. The variety now occupies around 77.2 percent  of sugarcane area in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Bihar. With increase in the area of Co 0238 during 2018-19, the average sugarcane yield of these states had increased from 60 tonnes/hectare to 79.0 tonnes/ hectare. The average sugar recovery of these states had also increased from 9.21% to 10.70 % during the corresponding period. In UP alone, the variety has brought about a significant increase in the state average yield from 61.6 tonnes /hectare to 80.5 tonnes / hectare. With an additional profit of Rs. 54,810 per hectare, Co 0238 has contributed immensely to double the income of farmers, the flagship programme of Government of India. 

For his illustrious achievements, Dr Ram has been bestowed with various awards and honours including Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award by Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Fellowship of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Haryana Vigyan Ratna Award by the Government of Haryana, and Lifetime Achievement Award by National Federation of Cooperative Sugar factories Ltd., New Delhi. 

At present, Dr Bakshi Ram is working towards improving the cane yields and sucrose content of sugarcane varieties in the southern states and is hopeful that there would be a remarkable improvement in sugar recovery in the next three years in Tamil Nadu. 

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