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Maize As A Good Option For Rice Replacement Says ICAR

A State-level maize event was orchestrated by the ICAR-Indian Institute of Maize Research located in Ludhiana. This event was a collaborative effort with CIMMYT and the ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute situated in Karnal, and it received backing from CCSHAU in Hisar as well as the Haryana Government's State Department of Agriculture.

Vivek Singh
(Photo Courtesy: Freepik)
(Photo Courtesy: Freepik)

The ICAR-Indian Institute of Maize Research in Ludhiana, in collaboration with CIMMYT, ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute in Karnal, with support from CCSHAU in Hisar and the State Department of Agriculture of the Haryana Government, organized a State-level maize event.

Dr DK Yadava, Assistant Director General (Seed), urged farmers to grow maize for resource conservation and increased profits. He promoted the maize-mustard-mungbean system for better farm profitability, nutrition, and soil health. Dr Yadava emphasized the affordability and quality of public-sector hybrid seeds and the need to explore alternative crops to combat water scarcity. He highlighted biofortified maize with lysine, tryptophan, and provitamin A. Meanwhile, Dr HS Jat stressed the urgency of boosting maize production for ethanol, addressing market challenges with policy support. Dr. RK Yadav advocated for a maize-based system for sustainable soil management, and Dr Mahesh Gathala presented strategies for groundwater preservation. Dr Aditya Dabas discouraged crop residue burning.

Farmers in the region are concerned about ensuring a stable market and competitive prices for maize. They view the technology available through the ICAR-CIMMYT platform as a potential substitute for rice. They believe that supporting farmers with best management practices and ensuring the availability of inputs, machinery, and procurement options are crucial for scaling up maize production.

The government aims to meet the demand for over 14 million tonnes of maize for ethanol production by 2025-26, with the goal of achieving a 20% ethanol blend in petrol. However, current maize production is insufficient due to its use in feed, starch, and value-added industries.

The event was attended by 380 farmers from various districts of Haryana and Punjab, including 60 female farmers.

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