Committed for an efficient, globally competitive and vibrant sugarcane agriculture

Sri Tariq Anwar Ji, Hon’ble Minister inaugurated National SugarFest and Agro Tech at IISR

“National SugarFest-2013” was organized on Feb. 16-18, 2013 at Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research (IISR), Lucknow to commemorate the IISR Diamond Jubilee celebration and glorious journey of 60 years since its inception on 16 Feb., 1952. “Agro Tech” 2013 was also organized on Feb. 16-18, 2013 in collaboration with Agriculture Today group, New Delhi with the aim to develop Agriculture for inclusive growth in UP.

The SugarFest and Agro-Tech was inaugurated by Sri Tariq Anwar Ji, Hon’ble Minister of state for Agriculture & Food Processing Industries, Govt. of India. Strengthening of the infrastructure like cold storage, cold chain, food processing units etc. to avoid 25-40% wastage in vegetables/fruits/grains etc. was emphasized by Hon’ble Minister in his inaugural remarks. Publications authored by IISR Scientists were released by the Chief Guest. Agriculture Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Hon’ble Kunwar Anand Singh emphasized on mechanization of sugarcane culture and agriculture to solve the problem of labour scarcity. Dr. Sanjay Singh, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Professor R. B. Singh, President, NAAS, Sri Alok Ranjan, APC, Govt. of UP, Shri Siraj Hussain, Special Secretary, Agriculture, UP, Dr. N. Gopalakrishnan, ADG (CC), ICAR, Dr. S. Solomon, Director, IISR and Dr. G. Shukla, MD, Monsanto India also addressed the gathering in inaugural session. The IISR Diamond Jubilee lecture on “Freeing the Nation of the Hunger” was delivered by Prof. R.B. Singh, President, NAAS, New Delhi. Prof. R.B. Singh also felicitated the retired Scientists of IISR in a function organized during National SugarFest. Dr. Solomon, remembered the contribution of a Scientist, Late Dr. B. L. Srivastava for developing high sugar variety CoLk 94184 and honored his family with a citation and memento. During National SugarFest-2013, program of many colors like Yoga Asana competition, Frog race, Collage making, just-a-minute, cane chewing, Dumb charades, innovative food making, musical chair, rangoli etc. were organized in which thousands of students, children, boys, girls, house wives participated and winners were awarded with prizes. Agro-tourism and Bullock cart ride was major attraction of the event. In the Agro-tech about 5000 farmers from all over the country participated.

While presenting brief account of the Institute’s achievement, Dr. Solomon said that during last 60 years the feathers of many colors has been added to the crown of IISR. Sugarcane varieties developed by the institute, CoLk 8001, CoLk 8102, CoLk 94184 and CoLk 9709 helped a lot to farmers in reaping out higher yield in U.P, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab. Techniques developed by the institute like, Spaced Transplanting Technique (STP), bud chip, cane node technology have helped in fast multiplication of newly released varieties and reduction in seed quantity requirement. Innovative planting methods like ring pit method, FIRB method, paired row method have added one more feather in the institute’s crown by helping in increasing cane productivity in the subtropical belt. Few technologies like skip furrow method of irrigation, irrigation at critical growth stages are in the achievements list. The development and adoption of technology package for intercropping with sugarcane have helped the marginal farmers in maximizing profit margin. The inclusion of “Moist- hot-air treatment” (MHAT) developed by the institute in three tier seed program has become popular all over the country. Developing bio-intensive management of pest and diseases using Trichoderma sp and Trichograma sp have made the approach further sustainable. A combination of light trap and pheromone for trapping white grub beetles (IISR- Combo Trap) has been found to be highly effective and this has been widely adopted by sugar mills in the white-grub infested areas in UP and Maharashtra. The commercialization of machines developed by the Institute viz., sugarcane cutter-planter, paired-row sugarcane planter, raised bed seeder and Ratoon Management Device (RMD) have helped in saving about 60% of the cost of cultivation thus helping to overcome the labour scarcity and high labour cost to some extent.

The Institute has been conducting many outreach programmes to disseminate its technologies through in-house training, demonstration, Kisan Melas and other awareness programmes for cane farmers and cane officers. Advisory services through consultancies, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with academic institutions and sugar groups have provided us with an excellent platform for establishing strong linkages with the different stakeholders. Recently the Institute has taken a big initiative by signing a MoU with Govt. of Bihar for healthy seed production of improved sugarcane varieties with the financial help from Bihar Government. This is a step forward under Institute’s commitment for well-being of sugarcane and sugar sector in Bihar. Celebrating 2012 as the “Year of Excellence”, the institute now believes a key shift from the in-house sugarcane research system to capacity development and extension system. Realizing this the year 2013 is declared as “Year of Outreach” for IISR. The year 2013 will witness efforts to reach out to far corners of the villages and the farming community as institute’s commitment for effective extension service.

Photos of IISR Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and National SugarFest - 2013