Minister Launches “National Speed Breeding Crop Facility” at NABI

On March 11, 2024, India took a significant leap towards agricultural innovation with the inauguration of the National Speed Breeding Crop Facility at the National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI) in Mohali. Dr. Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of Science and Technology, hailed this initiative as a major step forward in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of doubling farmers’ incomes and promoting Agri-Startups.

This first-of-its-kind facility in India boasts precisely controlled environments that manipulate light, temperature, and humidity. This ingenious setup allows researchers to achieve a remarkable feat: cultivating up to four generations of crops in a single year. This translates to a quantum leap in speed compared to traditional breeding methods, which typically take several years to develop new crop varieties.

The National Speed Breeding Crop Facility holds immense potential to revolutionize Indian agriculture in several ways:

  • Combating Climate Change: The accelerated breeding cycles will enable the development of new crop varieties with enhanced resilience to climate change threats such as extreme weather events, droughts, and rising temperatures. This is crucial for ensuring food security in a world facing a changing climate.
  • Boosting Food Security: By facilitating the development of high-yielding crops, the facility can significantly increase agricultural productivity. This is essential for meeting the growing food demands of India’s burgeoning population.
  • Enhancing Crop Quality: Researchers can leverage this technology to develop crops with specific desirable traits. This could include crops with higher nutritional content, improved resistance to pests and diseases, or better tolerance to particular soil conditions.
  • Empowering Agri-Entrepreneurs: The National Speed Breeding Crop Facility can be a valuable tool for Agri-Startups and seed companies. Faster development cycles can lead to quicker commercialization of new crop varieties, creating new opportunities in the agricultural sector.

The inauguration of the National Speed Breeding Crop Facility marks a significant milestone for Indian agriculture. This revolutionary technology has the potential to transform crop breeding practices, leading to the development of more robust, productive, and sustainable food sources for the nation.

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