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Pti

Berhampur: In a bid to increase productivity, the administration in Ganjam district has decided to introduce five high-yielding, and drought and flood-resistance paddy varieties during the current kharif season.

The new paddy varieties include flood-resistant 1009 Sub-1, drought-resistant Sahabhagi, high-yielding and short-duration Mrunalini and Satya Krushan and long-duration Upahara, officials said.

"The district frequently faces natural calamities like unseasonal rain, floods and cyclones and drought. The new varieties of paddy will survive such situations for a fortnight," Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA), Ganjam, Sudarshan Mohanty said.

Developed at Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) in Cuttack, the new varieties were introduced in some pockets of different districts, including Puri, on a trial basis last year. "The experiment yielded good results and the government decided to introduce them over 2,000 to 3,000 hectares in Ganjam," he said.

Agriculture officials have decided to cover more areas with Swarna Sub-1, another flood-resistant variety, this time.

"We have targeted to cover around 7,000 hectares with the paddy variety as against 2,000 hectares the previous year," the DDA said.

The field officers in the agriculture department have been asked to create awareness on the benefits of the new paddy varieties, he said.

The department has set a target to increase paddy productivity from 28 to 42 quintals in the district. "The yield decreased last year due to drought-like situation," Mohanty said.

The paddy coverage area, however, has been reduced to 2.16 lakh hectares. It was grown over 2.21 lakh hectares the previous year. "We have decided to reduce the areas under paddy cultivation in highlands as these experienced drought," he said.

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