Two new groundnut varieties with high oleic acid content developed by ICRISAT in association with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Directorate of Groundnut Research would be made available to the farming community in Telangana from the next season.
This was stated by the Minister for Agriculture, Singireddy Niranjan Reddy, after a meeting with a team of scientists from ICRISAT. The Minister stated that the new varieties known as Girnar 4 (ICGV-15083) and Girnar 5 (ICGV-15090) would be most suitable for cultivation in the erstwhile Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy and Nalgonda districts.
Mr Niranjan Reddy said the new varieties could withstand moisture stress and Telangana state can produce high quality groundnuts. Groundnut is largely cultivated in Rabi season (post-rainy) in Telangana state under irrigation. The harvesting is done in dry months rendering the produce to be less prone to Aflatoxin contamination. This enables production of high quality and food safe groundnuts in Telangana state.
Stating that the two varieties had proven to be having high content of oleic acid, about 80% against the 40% to 50% in regular varieties, the Minister noted that they would also give 30% higher yield compared to the existing varieties and the crop period would be less than four months — 115 days. The new varieties would also ensure better price to the farmer.
The quality of oil from the two varieties of groundnut would be like that of olive oil as they reduce the bad cholesterol and would maintain good cholesterol reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases among those who consume the oil. ICRISAT scientists sought the cooperation of the State government for seed production on a large scale with the help of Telangana State Seed Development Corporation (TSSDC).
The Minister stated that steps would be taken for entering into agreements for buy-back of quality groundnut produce by well-known companies such as MARS and Mondelez.
Secretary (Agriculture) B Janardhan Reddy, Managing Director of TSSDC K Keshavulu, Asia Research Program Director Pooran M Gaur, Principal Scientist-Groundnut Breeder Janila Pasupuleti (both from ICRISAT) and Director (Seeds) from Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University T Pradeep participated in the meeting.
This story was originally published on The Hindu