The rice variety Pakhal a selection from IRYN-VE, was approved by NWFP Seed Council in 1994 and by VEC in 1996 for cultivation in the rice growing areas of Hazara Division and similar other ecologies due to its cold tolerance ability. Pakhal is semi dwarf (94 cm), and matures in 100 days. It produces 28% higher yield than JP-5. It is fertilizer responsive, tolerant to lodging and resistant to stem borer and leaffolder. On milling, it gives higher head rice recovery (60%) than JP-5 (52%). Its grain is long (6.6 mm) and slender. The variety has intermediate amylase contents (24.7%), hence has good cooking and eating qualities. The farmers who cultivate Pakhal are getting about 20% higher incomes.
The variety Shahkar was jointly developed by Rice Programme NARC and Rice Research Institute, Dokri. It was approved for general cultivation in Sindh by Sindh Seed Council in 2006. Shahkar is 15 days earlier, about 16% higher yielder, showing better level of resistance against WBPH, head rice recovery and cooking quality is better than IR-6.
Basmati rices are aromatic, long grain, with good cooking and eating quality. It is difficult to breed basmati varieties for agronomically better traits due to very high association of grain length and cooking quality. Under these circumstances, employing modern techniques a new variety, named Rachna Basmati, was developed By the NARC rice scientist. Being more fertilizer efficient, high yielding, early maturing, longer grain size, relatively more resistant to insects (leaf folder, white backed plant hopper) and diseases (Bakanae, blast, bacterial leaf blight, and stem Rot) and higher quality of protein and lysine, threonine and isoleucine, it was approved by the National Varietal Evaluation Committee during 1996 for general cultivation in Pakistan. This variety is more fertilizer efficient. In 1996, around 50,000 acres were under its cultivation. It saved Rs. 1,25,00,000/- in cost of DAP keeping its cost st Rs. 500/- per bag and assuming half the farmers adopted the fertilizer regine. The area under this variety is at an increase since its approval. The farmers have reported its yield up to 7 tonnes per hectare on farmers’ field.
Abbas, S. T. (2000). Development of Rachna Basmati: a new fine, aromatic rice variety through biotechnological tools. Since vision. 5: 74–84.