21 October 2012,Banswara
Directorate of Maize Research (DMR), New Delhi and the MP University of Agriculture and Technology (MPUAT) jointly held a Training-cum-farmers' day on Nutritional Security at AICRP centre, Banswara under Tribal Sub-Plan on 21 October, 2012. More than 700 tribal farmers were benefitted by this programme that included holding of 125 front-line demonstrations having Quality Maize Protein (QPM) hybrids grown at tribal farmers' field and organizing training programme on production technology and health benefits of QPM hybrids
Farmers were impressed by the high performance of maize hybrid HQPM1 and expected at least by 30-50% higher yield over their local varieties that they were growing so far. The supply of protein of high quality in the crop harvest was mentioned by farmers as an additional bonus. They attributed the success of maize hybrids to their better establishment ability, more vigorous growth and large cob size. Farmers, including around 175 women farmers, gathered in a 'pandal' listened carefully of the benefits that hybrid QPM offer to family members that use maize as their staple food. Dr. O.P. Gill, Vice-Chancellor of the MPUAT, Udaipur highlighted that maize hybrids are increasingly being adopted by Rajasthan farmers
Sh. Ranchod Patidar and Sh. Kanti Lal of Sevna and Chokhala villages of Banswara district appreciated the performance of HQPM1 in their villages and shared their experience of growing this hybrid with their fellow villagers. Sh. Kanti Lal mentioned that earlier he used to grow local landraces of maize. When the seed of HQPM1 was given to him under Tribal Sub-Plan for planting in his field, he was slightly apprehensive but was pleasantly surprised when he harvested more than 8 tons of grain from one hectare during rabi 2011-12. He advised his colleagues to cultivate QPM hybrids to further enhance the productivity of maize in Rajasthan and nutritional security of their families
Dr. OP Yadav, Director, DMR emphasized the potential of hybrid maize to augment maize production in the state to meet the future demand. Dr. S Dass, Technical Advisor of the National Seed Corporation (NSC), who was present on this occasion, mentioned that NSC would be undertaking hybrid seed production during the rabi season to ensure the seed availability of QPM hybrids in the Banswara regions of Rajasthan that has the potential of becoming seed hub in western India given its moderate climatic conditions during winter season. Dr. I.J. Mathur, Director Extension of MPUAT emphasized role of hybrids to enhance crop productivity under rainfed conditions. The programme was also attended by more than 100 scientists and officers of ICAR, MPUAT, farmers' cooperatives and the Rajasthan State Departments of agriculture, horticulture and veterinary.
(Source:DMR, New Delhi and MPUAT, Udaipur)