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Scientists from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & TechnologyGovernment of India, have developed a biofortified durum wheat variety MACS 4028, which shows high protein content.


    ABOUT MACS-4028 

    MACS 4028, the development of which was published in the Indian Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding, is a semi-dwarf variety, which matures in 102 days and has shown the superior and stable yielding ability of 19.3 quintals per hectareIt is resistant to stem rust, leaf rust, foliar aphids, root aphids, and brown wheat mite


    • The wheat variety developed by the ARI scientists group on Wheat improvement, shown high protein content of about 14.7%, better nutritional quality having zinc 40.3 ppm, and iron content of 40.3ppm and 46.1ppm respectively, good milling quality and overall acceptability

    • The MACS 4028 variety is also included by the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) programme for United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in an effort to alleviate malnutrition in a sustainable way and can boost the Vision 2022 “Kuposhan Mukt Bharat”, the National Nutrition Strategy. An endeavor to tackle the hidden hunger in the rural areas of India is being continued using traditional plant breeding approach to achieve “Kuposhan Mukt Bharat.”

    • This wheat variety i.e., MACS 4028 has been notified by the Central Sub-Committee on Crop Standards, Notification and Release of Varieties for Agricultural Crops (CVRC) for timely sown, rainfed condition of Peninsular Zone, comprising Maharashtra and Karnataka

    • Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has also tagged this variety under the Bio-fortified category during the year 2019.


    India is divided in to six  wheat growing zone based on the agro-climatic conditions. These zone are mentioned as follows:

    1. North-Western Plains Zone (NWPZ): This zone covers part of sub-humid Satlej-Ganga Alluvial plains and arid western plains comprises PunjabHaryanaDelhiRajasthan, western Uttar Pradesh, part of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh and contributes nearly 45% production from 37% of total area under wheat in India. Growing season is relatively short starting from November to April. "Triticum aestivum"species of wheat is dominates in this zone. 

    2. North-Eastern Plains Zone (NEPZ):  This zone covers sub-humid Satluj-Ganga alluvial plainshumid Bengal-Assam basinhumid eastern Himalayan region and Bay of Island. The zone comprises eastern Uttar PradeshBiharOrissaWest BengalAssamSikkimArunachal Pradesh and other eastern states and contributes about 24% of total production of wheat from 27% area. Crop season start from November till March/April, however, cool seasons are relatively short in this zone. Sowing is often delayed due to higher moisture conditions in the field after rice.

    3. Central Zone (CZ): Parts of arid western plains, semi-arid lava plateau, Central highland (north) India and sub-humid to humid eastern and south-eastern upland comprise this zone. This zone contributes nearly 17% area and 13% production. Crop is sown during October and harvested by March. Triticum durum is exclusively grown  in this zone.

    4. Peninsular Zone (PZ): The Deccan plateau, Western Ghats, central highlands (south) and Karnataka plateau comprise this zone. This zone contributes 6% area and 2.5% production of wheat. The crop is sown during later half of October and harvested by March"T. aestivum", "T. durum" and "T. dicoccum" are cultivated in this zone. Thermo-sensitive varieties are most preferred.

    5. Northern Hill Zone (NHZ): It covers the humid western Himalayan regions which includes Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim and Arunachal PradeshNearly 4% of area and 3% of production of the Indian wheat is contributed by this zone. Crop durations are long starting from October/November, end in May/June. On higher hills the crop is sown in May/June and harvested in October/November.

    6. Southern-hills Zone (SZ): The zone comprises hilly areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Wheat has a minor importance with respect to area and production. Though "T. aestivum" is the predominant species, "T. dicoccum" is also grown in some areas. Wheat is grown twice a year in this zone, i.e. May-September and October-April. Stem rust perpetuates in this zone.

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