Monday, February 29, 2016

Farmers catching up with new sugarcane breed after 45 years

Nearly after 45 years, a new sugarcane variety with high yield has slowly started replacing the commercial crop in the Cauvery Command area, which has turned out to be a boon for farmers in Mandya district which is the epicentre of farmer suicides.

Farmers who were mostly growing CO 62175 for its high yield ( 60 to 70 per ton a acre) all these years are switching over to the new variety
VCF 0517 which guarantees 80 to 90 ton per acre even when it is under farm trial and yet to be launched.

C0 62175 popularly known as 'Bili Kabbu' in local parlance occupies over 60 per cent of the sugarcane area in Southern Part of District. Experts say it will be replaced completely by the new variety during the next three years.

According to researchers: 'VCF 0517 is aMidnight variety which
matures for 12 to 14 months, and yield potential is 80 to 90 tonnes
per acre. The temperature, climate to grow this crop is very suitable
in the region. This is a good quality cane with higher yield, thick
cane, high tillering with high sugar, suitable for jaggery making,
multi ratooning, drown tolerant and gives higher recovery. It benefits
both sugar industries and farmers.'

University for Agriculture Science, Bengaluru will soon release this variety officially, nearly after its seven years of research. Before release this variety is already being cultivated in 3000 acres in Mandya.

Dr SN Swamygowda, Sugarcane Breeder and Project Leader Jaggery Park Zonal Agricultural Research Station, VC Farm, Mandya said that for field trail seeds were distributed in Mandya and there is a huge
response from the farmers.
'Witnessing the Big Mill Test performance, the farmers have multiplied the variety, and have started growing already. There is very good response from farmers, as well as industries. Compared to C0 62175 being grown from last four decades, the VCF 0517 is good in quality and attracting large farmers.'

'The water, fertilizer management is good. The variety requires normal water, and suits perfectly for temperature of this region. Some pests problem is there and it can be controlled. For commercial cultivation it will be released soon. In days to come drowned and pest disease tolerance will be increased in crops,' he added.

The crops is being multiplied and few farmers have made Rs 3 to 4 lakh in the seeding already. After Cauvery Command Area, they will be next trying the variety in Bhadra, Davangere, he added.

UAS Director of Research Dr T Sheshadri said the variety is medium
duration and gives very good yield. A meet will be conducted next
month and based on the farmers opinion the crop will be launched
officially in Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Mysuru.

Mandya Farmer Govindaraju who is growing the variety said: 'I took up the VCF 0517 cultivation recently. The crops have matured enough for nine months and am expecting good yield. As a trial, have taken up cultivation in one acre of land.'

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