ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Non-basmati versus Traditional Basmati

Impact of Expanded Public Procurement of Paddy

High palatability of basmati rice followed by attractive appearance of the cooked grain and strong demand were the top ranked attributes elicited by the adopter respondents of Pusa-1121. However, inadequate irrigation facilities, limited public procurement mechanism, and difficulty in obtaining healthy seed were the prominent constraints that restrict more farmers from adopting basmati paddy in the study area. The profitability analysis of the previous five years showed an abrupt shift of higher profitability from basmati during 2016 to 2019 to non-basmati crop during 2020 due to expanded public paddy procurement policy.

Disclaimer: None of the authors has any conflict of interest in this research and the reported contents.

The authors duly acknowledge the financial support from the ICAR under the network project on New Extension Methodologies and Approaches. They are grateful to the reviewers of this paper for suggesting scrupulous and constructive improvements.

Basmati is one of the premium paddy varieties that has been cultivated for centuries in the foothills of Himalayan mountain ranges, largely falling under Indian and Pakistani territories. Basmati possesses an appealing aroma, fluffy texture after cooking, higher extent of linear elongation during cooking compared to the breadthwise swelling, excellent palatability, easy digestibility, and longer shelf life (Singh et al 2018). The evolution of basmati development and cultivation has an interesting history. There are some mega basmati varieties evolved from India and Pakistan which created an international impact. Basmati-370 developed in 1933 in undivided India (now in Pakistan) at the Rice Research Institute, Kala Shah Kaku, is considered the mother of the entire scientific basmati deve­lopment and evolution. Pakistan being at an advantage of having a well-established basmati breeding system, took lead to develop improvement over the classical Basmati-370 and released Super Basmati in 1996 with higher yield and better grain quality (Akhter and Haider 2020).

However, Indian basmati breeding system still showed better robustness by breeding Pusa Basmati 1121 (Pusa-1121) in 2003 at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi which was released in 2008 (Joshi et al 2018), and due to some basmati-specific issues, is a magical variety that changed the entire basmati scenario in the western Indo-Gangetic belt. This variety was the first basmati to achieve a yield of 13.7 quintal (q)/acre in Punjab along with its numerous advantageous attributes (PAU 2023). Pusa Basmati 1509 (Pusa-1509), another mega basmati variety by the IARI, New Delhi, was developed in 2013 with several desirable attributes (yield of 15.7 q/acre) in addition to Pusa-1121 (PAU 2023); however, better aroma and tremendous popularity of Pusa-1121 kept its success subdued. Pusa Basmati 1718, another improved basmati variety by the IARI, New Delhi (deve­loped in 2019), was an improvement of Pusa-1121 in terms of bacterial blight resistance, shorter duration and higher yield (PAU 2023); however, premium consumers still keep Pusa-1121 as their top choice.

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