Scientists at University of Calcutta have developed the nation’s first genetically engineered(GE) drought resistant rice variety, a top Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) official said at Ahmedabad.
“Genetically engineered drought tolerant rice variety has been developed by Calcutta University. The varsity this month has published a paper on drought resistant rice,” Deputy Director General (Crop Sciences) of ICAR Prof Swapan Kumar Datta said.
“The production capacity of this variety will remain the same as in other crops, but it can survive without water,” he said. “It will take -say- another two or three years to conduct the field trials of this variety,” Datta said adding some state governments were not ready to give permission for its field trials.
According to ICAR, India can now develop variety of drought tolerant wheat, rice and maize. Drought tolerant maize variety is available with a company and its field trials are being conducted outside India, Datta said.
The states like Rajasthan and Gujarat need more drought resistant varieties, he said adding “In future we would like to have those kind of materials (crops) which are drought tolerant, nitrogen sufficient and efficient in water use, so that it could increase the yield,”.
China has already field-tested indigenously developed transgenic wheat variety which is drought tolerant, he informed.