20 high-yielding plant species developed
Three institutes of Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun, have developed 20 high-yielding varieties of plant species. These have now been approved by the Variety Releasing Committee (VRC) of ICFRE
The three institutes are Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun, Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding (IFGTB), Coimbatore and Tropical Forest Research Institute, Jabalpur.
Dehradun-based FRI has worked, for more than a decade, on ten improved varieties of Melia dubia and three clones of Eucalyptus tereticornis, the timber of which is in high demand in the industry. The released cultivars of Melia, popularly known as Dreake, or Malabar Neem, not only have a high productivity per unit area, with an average of 34.57 cubic metre per hectare per annum, but also have an excellent bole form, which is a desirable characteristic for plywood industry.
The average productivity of the released varieties of Eucalyptus has been recorded as 19.44 cubic meter per hectare per annum, against the present productivity level of 5-7 cubic meter per hectare per annum. These clones have also been found to be resistant to pink disease and wall gasp.
The research done at the IFGTB has resulted in the development of five inter-specific hybrids of Casuarina equisetifolia X Casuarina junghuhniana for use as timber, while TFRI has developed two varieties of medicinal plant Rauvolfia serpentine.