VL Mandua 382: The first early maturing, white seeded finger millet cultivar suitable for rainfed organic agro-ecology of the Himalayan region
White seeded finger millet is known to have higher acceptability in the baking and food industry compared to the brown seeded finger millet genotypes. The available white seeded finger millet genotypes are late maturing and blast susceptible thereby reducing their farmer’s acceptability in the north western Himalayan region particularly in Uttarakhand. Keeping this in view, the development of early maturing, blast resistance white seeded finger millet breeding programme was initiated at ICAR –VPKAS, Almora in 2003-04, which resulted in the release of VL Mandua 382in the year 2021, the first early maturing white seeded finger millet cultivar of finger millet suitable for rainfed and organic agro-ecology of the Himalayan region. It was derived from the cross between late maturing, white finger millet genotype WR 2 (obtained from UAS Bangalore) and early maturing and locally adapted blast tolerant brown seeded genotype VL 201. It recorded an average grain yield of 1,198 kg/ha, which was at par with the brown seeded check VL Mandua 324 (1,197 kg/ha) and out yielded the brown seeded check PRM-1 (1,163 kg/ha) by 3.0 per cent in State Varietal Trials (SVT) conducted under organic conditions of the Himalayan region. The grains contain higher calcium (340 mg/100g) and protein (8.8%) in comparison to the brown seeded check variety VL Mandua 324 (294 mg/100gand 6.6%, respectively). It exhibited moderate resistance to leaf, finger and neck blast in the multilocation trials conducted over 9 locations. Considering the speciality trait (white grains), excellent grain quality, matching yield potential with brown seeded check varieties and blast tolerance, the variety was released for cultivation in rainfed organic agro-ecology of Uttarakhand hills.
Key words: Blast resistance, grain quality, VL Mandua 382, white seed finger millet, calcium content
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