Indian rice farmers increasingly opt for buying high-yielding hybrids instead of saving seeds

Credit: Bayer CropScience
Credit: Bayer CropScience

The poorer a state, the less are the chances of its farmers adopting high-yielding seed technology, right? Well, not when it comes to hybrid rice at least.

Out of the country’s total estimated area of 65.8 lakh acres (26.6 lakh hectares) under hybrid paddy — the un-milled grain containing roughly two-thirds rice and one-third husk and bran — nearly 83% is accounted for by Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha. These are states, whose farmers aren’t as well-off as their counterparts in Northwestern and Southern India, and crop yields well below even that of West Bengal (India’s No. 1 rice producer).

What accounts for this seeming paradox — of relatively poorer farmers taking to planting of hybrids, as opposed to conventional open-pollinated varieties (OPV)?

Hybrids are produced by crossing genetically diverse plants even within the same species. The first-generation or F1 offspring from such crosses tend to have yields higher than what either of the parents (both OPVs) individually can give. Unlike OPVs, though, the grains from hybrids aren’t suited for saving and re-use as seed by farmers. The resultant plants will not have the same hybrid vigour as the F1 offspring. Farmers will, hence, plant hybrid seeds — which, have to be purchased each time — only if the grain yields from them are substantially higher over OPVs.

Read full, original post: Breeding challenges: Hybrid rice clicks better in poor than agriculturally prosperous states

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend