Pusa-44 to Pusa-2090: Rice Evolution for Sustainable Farming

  Nov 09, 2023

The Evolution from Pusa-44 to Pusa-2090 Rice Varieties

Background on Pusa-44

Pusa-44 is a rice variety developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi. Its key characteristics are:

Long Duration: It takes about 155-160 days to mature from nursery sowing to grain harvest.

Sowing and Harvesting Timeline: Typically sown in nurseries in May, transplanted in mid-June, and ready for harvest by late October.

Impact on Subsequent Crops: Its late harvesting leaves little time for farmers to prepare fields for the next wheat crop, which ideally should be sown by mid-November.

Stubble Burning: Due to the time crunch, farmers often resort to burning the leftover stubble and straw post-harvest to quickly clear fields, contributing to air pollution.

Pusa-44’s Popularity

Despite its long maturation period, Pusa-44 is favored for:

High Yield: It produces about 35-36 quintals per acre, with some cases of farmers harvesting up to 40 quintals per acre.

Introduction of Pusa-2090

Recognizing the need for an improvement, IARI developed Pusa-2090, an enhanced version of Pusa-44:

Reduced Maturity Time: Pusa-2090 matures in just 120-125 days.

Genetic Cross: It is a crossbreed between Pusa-44 and CB-501, an early-maturing Japonica rice line.

Yield: It claims to match the high yield of Pusa-44.

Significance of Pusa-2090

Reduction in Air Pollution: Shorter maturation period means timely field clearance for wheat sowing, reducing the need for stubble burning.

Efficient Farming Cycle: Helps maintain the cycle of crop rotation without time pressure.

Sustainable Agricultural Practices: Promotes more environmentally friendly farming methods.

This advancement in rice cultivation can be a significant step towards addressing both the agricultural productivity and environmental concerns related to stubble burning in regions like Punjab and Haryana, which affect air quality in northern India, including Delhi.



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