Paddy variety ‘PR 122’ leaves ‘PR 121’ behind at Kisan Mela
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The new variety of paddy, launched by PAU, 'PR 122' left 'PR 121' way behind in terms of sale in Kisan Mela held on PAU campus on Friday. Although both were offered for the first time to farmers, the connection of PR 121 with the controversial PAU 201, which shellers refused to procure in 2008 because of brownish colour, was cited as a major reason for low sale.
While PR 122 recorded a sale of 800 quintal on Friday, only 200 quintals of PR 121 was sold. The total sales were of Rs 1.5 crore including two new varieties of basmati.
Although farmers had to stand in long queues to buy seeds at PAU, some lamented that private companies with stalls outside the campus were giving seeds at the same rate. They also complained that basmati seeds were available only for half a kg and not more than that.
"PAU is for the benefit of farmers. But companies are too giving it for 100/kg like PAU," said Baldev Singh from Moga. "Then what is the benefit to us for buying it from PAU?"
However, Manjit Singh from Sangrur said, "PAU seeds have guarantee. Although they are costly, we know they will give good yield."
PAU termed PR 121 a replacement to PAU 201. "PAU 201 had great yield and nutritional values but shellers refused to pick it because of dull and brownish colour. Thus we have given PR 121 as replacement to it with equal nutrition and yield but shining and slender grain," said Dr Jagtar Dhiman, additional director, research, PAU.
Jaswant Singh, a farmer from Sangrur, said, "PR 122 has better yield of 31.5 quintal/acre as compared to PR 121 having 30.5 q/acre but the major factor is what if like PAU 201 shellers refuse to pick PR 121. What if it too yields brown and dull grains? Moreover, PR 122 harvests 147 days and PR 121 in 140 days, long period is better to save water."