India gets its first biofortified sorghum (jowar) – Parbhani Shakti
On 5th July 2018, India’s first biofortified sorghum (jowar) named Parbhani Shakti containing higher iron and zinc than regular sorghum was formally launched.
i. This improved sorghum variety has been developed by International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT). It was released for cultivation by Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth (VNMKV), Maharashtra.
ii. The improved variety ICSR 14001 has been released as ‘Parbhani Shakti’ by VNMKV.
iii. Parbhani Shakti is cost-effective. It has been introduced as a sustainable solution to rectify micronutrient deficiency.
iv. On 5th July 2018, an MoU was signed by ICRISAT and VNMKV for large-scale seed production and dissemination.
v. Parbhani Shakti was developed by ICRISAT under HarvestPlus, a sorghum biofortification project.
vi. It was tested as PVK 1009 in Maharashtra and in All India Co-ordinated Sorghum Improvement Project (AICSIP) Trials.
vii. It was launched as a rainy season variety (Kharif). But it can be grown in post-rainy (Rabi) and summer seasons.
viii. The yield levels are greater (>5.0 t ha-1) in post rainy and summer seasons with irrigation.
ix. In summer season, it can tolerate higher temperatures (41°C) at flowering and seed setting but the flowering could be delayed (80 days).
About International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT):
♦ Director General – Dr. David Bergvinson
♦ Headquarters – Patancheru, Hyderabad, Telangana