New Crop Varieties: Essential Roles in Abiotic Stress Management for Sustainable Agriculture



Abiotic Stress Management by stress-tolerant crop varieties 

In the last blog, I explained the approaches to abiotic stress management in agriculture. In this blog, we are going to see How Abiotic stress-tolerant crop varieties are important in the Battle against climate change. Abiotic stress-tolerant crop varieties play a crucial role in managing abiotic stress in agriculture. Abiotic stresses are non-living factors such as drought, heat, salinity, cold, flooding, and nutrient deficiency that can negatively impact plant growth and productivity. Developing crop varieties that can withstand and thrive under these challenging conditions is essential for ensuring food security and sustainable agricultural practices. For the last few decades, agricultural scientists are engaged develop crop varieties that can sustain different stress conditions.

Here are a few reasons why abiotic stress-tolerant crop varieties are important in Agriculture:

Improved crop productivity: Abiotic stress can drastically reduce crop yields. By developing varieties that are tolerant to specific stress factors, such as drought or salinity, farmers can confirm more stable and consistent yields even in harsh environmental conditions. This helps to protect food production and decrease the economic losses caused by crop failures.

Resource optimization: Abiotic stress-tolerant crops are better adapted to consume limited resources proficiently. For example, drought-tolerant varieties have mechanisms to preserve water and sustain growth even with reduced water availability. This enables farmers to use water resources more efficiently and mitigate the impact of water scarcity on agricultural production.

Wheat products

Some of the drought-tolerant crop varieties are

Rice: Sahbhagi Dhan, Swarna Purvi Dhan 1, Swarna Purvi Dhan 2, Swarna Shusk Dhan , Swarna-Submerged, DRR-Dhan 42, Sahbhagi Dhan, Samba Mahsuri.

Wheat: K 1008, DWR 162, DWR 195, HD 2967, GW 322, WH 1105.

Millets: Co 5, Co 6 (Foxtail millet), Co 9 (Kodo millet), Co 13 (Little millet), Co 14 (Barnyard millet).

Maize: Ganga-5, Ganga Safed-2, HQPM-1, HQPM-7, Dhanshakti, Ganga-5, NK 6240.

Sorghum: CSV 23F, CSV 27F, CSV 29F, CSV 30F, CSV 31F, M 35-1.

Chickpea: ICCV 10, JAKI 9218, KAK 2, JG 11, RSG 934, RSG 888.

Pigeonpea: ICPL 151, ICPL 88039, ICPL 85063, Asha, Bahar, UPAS 120.

Green gram (Moong): Pant Moong 1, Pant Moong 2, T 44, PDM 139, Pusa Vishal, GGM 4.

Black gram (Urad): Pant Urd 31, Pant Urd 32, Pant Urd 33, Pant Urd 34, Pant Urd 35, PU 31.

Mustard: RH 0747, Varuna, Pusa Mustard-30, RH 749.

Groundnut: GG 2, GG 4, GG 5, GG 7, GG 10, TMV 2, TG 26.

Sesame: RTM 2067, VRI 1, GT 10, TKG 22, GT 11, TKG 22.

Sunflower: Morden, PSF 22, PSF 27, PSF 8, PSF 25, MSFH 8H.


Expansion of arable land: Abiotic stress-tolerant crops can open up new possibilities for agriculture in areas that were formerly incompatible with farming. For instance, salt-tolerant varieties allow farmers to grow crops in saline soils, which were previously unproductive. This helps to increase the overall arable land area and enhances agricultural productivity.

Some of the Salt-tolerant crop varieties are:

Rice: Pokkali, Nonabokra, Lunishree, Sarbati

Wheat: KRL-1, KRL-19, KRL-210

Mustard: Pant Ruchi, CS 52, Varuna

Green gram (Mung bean): Pusa Vishal

Black gram (Urad bean): Pant Urd 31

Tomato: Pusa Early Dwarf

Okra (Lady's finger): Arka Anamika

Spinach: Pusa Jyoti

Watermelon: Amar

Climate change adaptation: With climate change, the frequency and intensity of abiotic stresses are expected to increase. By developing stress-tolerant crop varieties, farmers can adapt to changing climatic conditions and minimize the adverse impacts on agricultural production. These varieties can survive extreme temperatures, rainfall fluctuations, and other climate-related challenges.

Some of the High temperature-tolerant crop 

varieties are

Wheat: HD 2967, K7903

Rice: Sahbhagi Dhan, Pusa Basmati 1121

Maize: HQPM 1, DHM 117

Tomato: Arka Vikas, F1 Hybrid Arka Abha

Reduced environmental impact: Abiotic stress-tolerant crops often require fewer inputs such as water, fertilizers, and pesticides. This can lead to reduced environmental pollution and a more sustainable agricultural system. Additionally, by preventing crop failures due to abiotic stress, farmers can minimize the need for land expansion and the associated deforestation, protecting natural habitats.

Overall, abiotic stress-tolerant crop varieties are vital for managing abiotic stress in agriculture. They provide a resilient and sustainable approach to ensure food security, optimize resource use, adapt to climate change, and minimize environmental impacts. Ongoing research and development efforts are focused on identifying and breeding stress-tolerant varieties to address the diverse challenges faced by farmers around the world. The examples of abiotic stress-tolerant crop varieties I included in the blog are developed by different Indian Research Institutes in India, but very few varieties are available in the market for farmers. I hope in the next few years farmers get these crop varieties and maintain food security for our upcoming generation. 

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