LUCKNOW: Scientists at the Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research in Lucknow claim to have developed a research and development road map to address the concerns of sugar industries operating in Northern India in UP, Haryana, Punjab, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

Wrking on the road map for the past six months, the scientists, S Solomon, director, IISR said have interacted with senior officials of many sugar groups in the region. The scientists also visited cane growing areas to understand and diagnose the most inflicting problem in cane cultivation. All the inputs derived were put into a frame to develop R and D Road map, which was finalised in a high level meeting of the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) held under the Chairmanship of S Nagarajan, former Chairman, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority, Govt. of India.

Presenting the salient features of to members of the RAC and, Solomon said the present R&D map is targeted to implement activities to enhance sugarcane yield in sub tropics from average 55-60 tonnes per hectare to 90-100 t/ha with corresponding increase in sugar recovery to 11.0% in coming years.

The institute, Solomon added, will take steps to increase soil organic carbon and enrich soil with micro nutrients, develop new sugarcane varieties that are suitable under drought, flood and saline or alkaline conditions. Diseases like GSD (reported in upto 30% cases in west UP), insect-pests like borers, termite, white grub will also be targeted by introducing bio-intensive technology module in the sugarcane field. To address the problem of labour scarcity and cost reduction the effort will be applied to mechanise cane cultivation operations like planting, inter-culturing and harvesting.

In the road map emphasis is also given to develop high sugar and fiber content variety in order to promote electric co-generation and ethanol production capacity of sugar mills in coming years to address the National concern for energy requirement. To groom and develop the cane development staff of sugar mills in prospering and forward looking managers IISR will organize human resource development training for sugar industry personnel.

source: TOI

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