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DG, ICAR lauded the efforts of IISR in sustainable development of sugar industry

Research and Development in sugarcane must address the issues of sugarcane, sugar and energy sector of the country in holistic manner, said Dr. S. Ayyappan, Director General, ICAR and Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE), Govt. of India, New Delhi while addressing the Scientists of Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research (a research institute under ICAR), Lucknow. Dr. Ayyappan emphasized to break the stagnant cane yield of about 68 t/ha in the country, and he urged sugarcane scientists to evolve mechanism for seed cane production and distribution chain for quick replacement of very old varieties with new promising cane varieties.

Dr. Ayyappan visited IISR to review the progress in sugarcane research being conducted here. In a day long visit to the institute Dr Ayyappan closely observed every experiment in the fields and laboratories and interacted with scientists and other staff in length and breadth. Dr. S. Solomon, Director, IISR, Lucknow presented a brief account of Institute’s achievements in developing many remunerative sugarcane technologies. Dr. Ayyappan commended the efforts of scientists in sugarcane and appreciated the hard work of scientists in evolving cutting edge sugarcane technologies such as improved cane variety CoLk 94184 (early maturing high sugar variety), cane node technology (new technique to reduce cane seed quantity and higher plant population), organic ratoon cultivation for sustaining yield and soil health, water saving sugarcane technologies, sugarbeet cultivation in sub tropics, sugarcane machines (planter, RMD & harvester), diagnostic kits for red rot and smut diseases, bio-intensive insect-pests and diseases management. The adoption of these technologies helped cane growers and sugar industry to earn more profit from sugarcane cultivation and sugar manufacturing. Dr. Ayyappan cautioned the scientists not to be complacent with achievements and urged them to work with more enthusiasm and energy to address the upcoming challenges of sugar industry. Most emergent challenge is to convert sugar mill into sugarcane processing complex to produce sugar, ethanol, electricity, pulp, animal feed, fertilizer etc. to meet ever increasing demand for sweetener and energy. He appealed scientists to evolve an R&D umbrella to address all issues in holistic manner. Inter-Institutional and international collaboration in broadening genetic resource base, global varietal development program, application of modern research techniques like Carbon sequestration modeling, crop modeling, simulation study for resource conservation and higher productivity of sugarcane and sugar must be initiated in big way. Farmers’ First must be focus of research and technology development programme. Water saving technologies like Skip furrow method of irrigation, drip irrigation, trash mulching etc. must be popularized over larger areas by implementing modern Extension tools like ICT, Expert system, model farm approach to extend benefit to more and more number of farmers. A “Sugarcane Museum” is planned at IISR to showcase the technology in more interesting and creative way.