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: Two varieties of ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute --Co 6304 and Co 86032-- here have been recognized for their significant contribution to sugarcane agriculture in the country. The Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding, New Delhi, one of the oldest societies of Breeders and Geneticists in the country, presented the recognition awards to developers of these varieties during its Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, held at New Delhi. Speaking on the recognition, ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute Director, Dr Bakshi Ram said that both were landmark varieties that created significant impact in the livelihood of sugarcane farmers of Tropical India. Co 6304, released for cultivation in 1973, was hailed as the second wonder cane after Co 419 during the seventies and eighties. The variety was extremely popular in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh and during the period, it occupied over 85 per cent of the area in Tamil Nadu and played a major role in making the State top sugarcane roductivity rankings in the country, he said in a release today. The variety also made a mark in Gujarat, improving the overall sugar recovery in that state, he added. If Co 6304 was instrumental in Tamil Nadu achieving the maximum sugarcane yield per unit area in the country, it was Co 86032 variety that helped in sustaining the state's productivity, Bakshi Ram said. This variety, released in 2000, is the ruling variety in tropical India, occupying over 70 per cent of the area in Tamil Nadu and over 50 per cent in Maharashtra and Karnataka, with sizeable proportion in Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha. The annual gross value realised from this variety alone is estimated to be about Rs 15,000 crore, he said. At present, about 99 per cent of the area under sugarcane cultivation in India is occupied by the varieties developed by the Institute or those developed by the State Sugarcane Research Stations from the crosses made at the Institute, Bakshi Ram said.
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