DuPont Pioneer India Principal Research Scientist in Mustard Research, Rakesh Arora, recently was awarded the fellowship of the Society for Rapeseed-Mustard Research at the first National Brassica Conference in Chaudhery Charan Singh (CCS) Agricultural University, Hissar, India. Rakesh was the only scientist from the private sector in India to receive this honor. The fellowship is an initiative of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to recognize private research companies’ contributions to mustard productivity improvements, supporting Indian farmers and public/private research and collaboration.
The DuPont Pioneer team developed the hybrid-developing system known as Cytoplasmic Male Sterility (CMS) technology, which marked the beginning of the hybridization of the mustard crop in India. The research contributions by Rakesh aided the development of the F1 (single-cross) hybrid for India, which has resulted in improved yields and better quality. This single-cross F1 hybrid has the potential to increase productivity of the mustard crop up to 3.5 metric tons per hectare.
DuPont Pioneer has a long-standing association with the All India Coordinated Research Program on Rapeseed and Mustard (AICRPRM) on oilseeds, which dates to 1990. Since then, the Pioneer mustard and rapeseed research team has actively contributed to mustard entries in AICRPRM’s yield testing systems and participated in various national rapeseed and mustard workshops.
Extensive research work conducted by the DuPont Pioneer research team in India has helped to increase mustard hybridization from the open pollinated varieties (commonly known as OPVs). Farmers have experienced 8 – 10% higher yields by planting Pioneer® brand hybrids as compared to other OPVs. Development of single cross hybrids (F1) also has resulted in better quality and improved oil yields, which helps facilitate the integration of valuable traits.
Further, DuPont Pioneer is developing high yielding hybrids that enhance canola quality and disease/pest resistance to impact profitability.
Mustard is an important crop for India. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service in 2011, India harvests about 6.7 million hectares of mustard annually.