Press Releases

  • Superior Quality Rapeseed Mustard "TERI - Uttam-Jawahar" Released

    2 March 2005

    TERI has launched a superior variety of rapeseed mustard christened as TERI-Uttam-Jawahar for the farming community in India. At a workshop jointly organized by TERI and Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya (JNKVV), Jabalpur on 26 February 2005, the new seed variety having internationally acclaimed canola quality oil and meal was displayed to the participants.

    Intelligent selection of plants having desired quality parameters as well as good yielding attributes plays the most critical part in the development of rapeseed- mustard of canola-quality variety. Thus, TERI scientists employed biotechnological approaches to supplement the conventional methods of plant breeding to develop new strains of improved quality, seven of which are registered at ICAR. One of them, [TERI(OO)R9903; INGR No.04077], formed the first double-low variety of B.napus and is released for cultivation in Madhya Pradesh.

    Explaining the salient features of the new variety, Dr Abha Agnihotri, group leader for quality improvement at TERI said: "This is a landmark achievement for the agriculture sector in general and oil seeds sector in particular as this variety is rich in oil (approximately 43%) and has high levels of oleic acid (over 60%), which prevents it from getting rancid soon. Moreover, it tolerates pod shattering and white rust, and has shorter crop cycle for the benefit of the farming community". It was tested under the ICAR's multi location trials and also in farmer's adaptive trials across Madhya Pradesh by JNKVV. It has proven its suitability to grow in the mustard growing belts, moreover it has been found to be economical as compared to other crops grown under limited irrigations, and can be an alternative crop in soybean based cropping systems. Even with a conservative estimate, the oil and meal together will fetch almost double the price per hectare, and have tremendous export potential in the global markets.

    The new variety, after extensive laboratory and field tests has been declared fit for distribution among farmers and cooperatives for commercial production. A broad based workshop was organized by TERI in collaboration with JNKVV, Jabalpur on 26 February 2005 involving technocrats, members of the farming community, members from the oil-crushing industry and academia. TERI, in collaboration with JNKVV has taken initiative for promoting entrepreneurs through public - private partnership- creating an interface with scientists- industrialists-farmers- to evolve a strategy for popularization and commercialization of TERI-Uttam-Jawahar for maximizing the benefits to all stakeholders including farmers.

    Keynote address at the function was delivered by Dr D P Singh, Vice Chancellor, and the potential of the Indian rapeseed mustard in the post-WTO phase was explained by Dr V S Tomar, Director Research, JNKVV. The participants of the workshop were taken to the field for an on-the-spot examination of TERI-Uttam-Jawahar crop. The field trip was followed by a panel discussion on "strategy for commercialization of value-added oil seeds" where all stakeholders including farmers and oil crushers participated. Other participants included Dr S K Rao, Head of Dept, Plant Breeding and Genetics, JNKVV, Dr H S Khuswaha, Director, Biotechnology Centre, JNKVV and Dr O P Gupta, Head, Food Science and Technology, JNKVV, Dr S S Duhoon & Dr S M Sharma from ICAR.

    Rapeseed-mustard is economically important contributing up to 30% of edible oilseeds in India and its nutritional advantages outdo many other edible oils. It has the lowest amount of harmful saturated fatty acids, and also contains the two essential fatty acids - linoleic and linolenic - that most other edible oils do not possess. In the early 1990s researchers in TERI, with financial support from National Oilseeds and Vegetable Oils Development Board and Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, took up the challenge to bring the Indian rapeseed-mustard to international standards of canola quality by lowering erucic acid content from more than 50% to less than 2%, lowering glucosinolate levels (per gram of oil-free cake) from more than 150 micromoles to less than 30 micromoles, increasing oleic acid content from less than 20% to more than 60%. Further, to percolate the nutritionally improved canola quality variety in mustard growing belts they introduced shattering tolerance in B.napus and reduced the maturity period from more than 150 days to less than 135 days.

    The canola-quality oil and meal produced from the new variety, fittingly called TERI-Uttam, is nutritionally superior. It has the potential of commercialization under contract farming for production of new health oils and meals as per international standards. Its oil meal attracts nearly 1.3 times the price commanded in the international market. This has created a larger niche in the market for it to fetch a premium price and substantial foreign exchange. The improved oil-free cake will also benefit the animal husbandry sector. Thus, masses too can exercise their right to a healthier option while farmers can get a premium price for the produce.