Scientists at the Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research (IISR) here have joined hands with their Sri Lankan counterparts to work together on mutually agreed areas in order to improve the sugarcane and sugar scenario in the island nation.
A high-level Sri Lanka delegation under the chairmanship of their minister Lakhman Senewiratne visited the IISR from June 16 to 20.
An MoU between the two sides was signed on Thursday after a wrap-up discussion between the Sri Lankan minister and Dr S Solomon, director of IISR. A tentative draft of areas of joint collaboration was prepared on which IISR and Sri Lanka will work together.
The mutually agreed areas of joint collaboration include sugarcane varietal improvement programme for high sugar and multiple stress tolerant and climate resilient varieties, as well as energy cane, sugarcane production and management, including crop diversification, soil health management through bio-recycling and water management, sugarcane quality seed production, and bio-intensive sugarcane agriculture.
“Balrampur Chini Mill (Haidergarh unit in Barabanki) will extend technical support in the area of cane processing in sugar mills,” said Dr A K Sah, senior scientist at IISR.
Pre and post-harvest management of sugarcane quality for higher recovery, design and development of appropriate machinery such as planters, development of efficient and hygienic jaggery production and storage system and biotechnological interventions are also the part of the agreement.
Specialised training in frontier areas like molecular biology and genomics, bi-lateral exchange programmes for training and consultancy on all aspects of sugarcane cultivation, for the researchers and industry personnel will also form a part of the programme.
During the function, a book on ‘Ethephon: Impact on sugarcane physiology and sugar productivity’ authored by Radha Jain, S Solomon, Yang-Rui-Li, Amaresh Chandra and A K Shrivastava was also released by Senewiratne.
The minister said that this book was very useful specially with reference to increasing sucrose content during early ripening phase of sugarcane, development of tillers, sprouting of buds and growth of cane under drought condition.