To address the impacts of climatic changes and evolving diseases on agriculture, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has unveiled a speed breeding facility valued at ₹5 crore.

In a move to address the impacts of climatic changes and evolving diseases on agriculture, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has unveiled the country’s first-ever speed breeding facility, valued at ₹5 crore. This cutting-edge facility, constructed under a research project grant from the Union Ministry of Science and Technology, marks a significant leap forward in agricultural innovation.

The newly inaugurated facility, named AccelBreed, has eight fully automated and insulated chambers. This laboratory enables agricultural scientists to breed up to six generations of a crop, a remarkable advancement compared to the traditional limit of two per year in normal field conditions. The controlled environment empowers scientists to develop new varieties in half the time it traditionally takes.

Dr. Dharaminder Bhatia, a scientist at the School of Biotechnology at PAU, emphasized the urgency of addressing climate change and a rapidly growing population and said, “Breeders are now tasked with developing disease-resistant varieties to achieve higher yields and meet the increasing demand for food. Traditionally, creating a new variety, whether of wheat or paddy, takes 10-12 years, constrained by environmental limitations that allow only two crops of wheat or rice, grown locally and in the Himalayan region. However, the AccelBreed facility provides exceptional control over light, temperature, and other environmental factors, enabling the cultivation of six crops annually.”

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