Ludhiana, Mar 28: In order to popularise the sowing of Mung Bean in 'low nutrition value' states like Bihar, Rajasthan and Jharkhand, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will carry out extensive research in collaboration with Asian Vegetable Research Development Centre (AVRDC), Taiwan.
This research project involves popularization of extra-short duration mung bean cultivars for poverty alleviation and improved nutrition in Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Tamilnadu based on the 'Punjab Model'.
The project will be operated at the Department of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology for a period of one and a half year. The project has a budget lay out of $ 31,000.
The Contract Agreement for this project was today signed by Dr Thomas Lumpkin, Director General, AVRDC and was subsequently cleared by Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor in the presence of Dr M L Chadha, Director, AVRDC-Regional Center for South Asia, Hyderabad, Dr B L Bhardwaj, Head, Department of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology, Dr J S Sandhu, Incharge, Pulses and Dr T S Bains, Principal Investigator of this project.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Kang said that pulses have a special place in Indian diets as they provide protein for the vegetarian. He added that pulses do have a place in diversification of agriculture and that PAU is laying thrust on pulses through initiating research programmes.
Tracing details of the project, Dr Chadha said that the project was initially started at PAU in the year 2002 under the aegis of Department of International Development, UK. This project proved immensely successful in popularising summer moong cultivation in Punjab.
Summer moong cultivation not only helps to diversify the rice-wheat cropping system but also improves soil health by incorporating nitrogen in the soil, Dr Kang stated.
After its success in Punjab, the project has now been extended to Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Tamilnadu. PAU will act as a hub to coordinate the implementation of the project in these states based on the 'Punjab Model'.
PAU will also monitor the research activities in these states during the operation of the project.