After 10 years of research, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) department of vegetable science has developed a new variety of pea crop — Matar Ageta-7 or MA-7.
Department expert RK Dhall said this early-maturing variety had the potential to give much higher yield than the varieties released earlier. “The performance of MA-7 is better than that of the popular AP-3 pea of Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture and Technology, Kanpur. MA-7 gives maiden picking within 60 days of sowing, if sown in the last week of September; which allows farmers to vacate the fields in time for planting wheat. It matures four to five days earlier than AP-3 and gives 5 to 10% more yield,” said Dhall.
“High yield means that farmers who will grow this variety will have a chance to make more money out of each acre. The yield from each acre is about 33 quintal,” the expert added. Department head Ajmer Singh Dhatt said considering the advantages of this new variety, the developers expect it to become popular quickly. “This season, AP-7 was the most widely grown pea but from the next, MA-7 will be everyone’s choice,” he stated.
University’s additional director of research Jagtar Singh Dhiman explained that like pulses, the roots of pea crop have rhizomes that fix nitrogen in the soil to enhance its fertility. “Nitrogen is vital for the soil, for ensuring its good health. All farmers should grow soil-enriching crops,” said Dhiman.
District agriculture officer Sukhpal Singh Sekhon said the department deserved appreciation for developing the new variety “but farmers should buy seeds only from the PAU or the district agriculture offices for authenticity”. The seed price of MA-7 is Rs 150 per kilogram.