Thrissur: Twelve new crop varieties have been developed by the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) and are now ready for release to farmers, an official release from the varsity said.
The state committee on release of crop varieties and seeds cleared the new varieties based on the result of farm trials, according to KAU.
The new varieties include one each of rice, coconut, snake gourd, chilli, ginger and two varieties each of tomato and pepper.
The rice variety, Ezhome-3, has been found to be tolerant to salinity, while Keramadhura is a green dwarf coconut variety preferred for tender nuts. Panniyur 8i, a pepper variety, is tolerant to drought and quick wilt disease.
Among other varieties are Manulakshmy, a large size tomato resistant to bacterial wilt; Vellayani Thejus, a shade tolerant variety of chilly; and Aiswarya, a variety of fodder cowpea.
KAU Vice-chancellor P. Rajendran said the new crop varieties add to the 271 varieties of various crops developed by the varsity.
"A researcher needs to put in persistent hard work of five to eight years to come up with a new variety. Once a variety is developed it is fine-tuned by a series of tests and evaluations. Only on satisfactory completion of field tests and assessments that the varieties are recommended to seed release committee," Rajendran said.
Director of research T.R. Gopalakrishnan said the new varieties have yielded appreciable results in trials.
"Several more varieties, developed during 2012-13, are undergoing tests and they will be recommended only on satisfactory completion of testing process," Gopalakrishnan said.