A farmer from Pakistan has sought seeds of newly developed 'Malviya Manila Sinchit Dhan-1' paddy variety for cultivation from the Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
Claiming to be a "progressive farmer" from Pakistan, one Rizwan contacted Banaras Hindu University (BHU) scientist Prof S.K. Singh on WhatsApp, requesting him to provide the seeds.
Prof Singh has asked Rizwan to contact the Manila-based International Rice Research Institute's (IRRI) unit in Pakistan.
"Rizwan was making voice calls, then also sent a voice message. I expressed my inability in fulfilling Rizwan's demand and asked him to contact the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Pakistan to know whether it can be made available to him by the centre," said Prof Singh of genetics and plant breeding department of Institute of Agriculture Science, BHU.
"The variety of paddy which Rizwan wants, has been developed in a joint venture of IRRI Manila, which has a centre in Varanasi, and BHU," he said.
He said, "Unlike other normal paddy varieties' crop cycle of 135-140 days, this MMSD-1 variety of paddy grows in 115-118 days. Using this variety for paddy crops will enable farmers to cultivate four crops in a year and increase earning up to three times."
On how Rizwan contacted him, Prof Singh said, "Initially, he was making voice calls through social media platforms on June 6. When I did not attend the calls, he sent a voice message mentioning that he knew about the MMSD-1 variety of paddy through an article after which he searched my number from the BHU website. He then requested to interact with him for a few minutes."
"In the first impression, he seemed to be a genuine farmer. In the conversation, he started demanding MMSD-1 seeds. I told him that it could not be provided by me and he would have to consult IRRI's centre if one existed in Pakistan to know how he can procure it," said Prof Singh.
The professor said that Rizwan continued requesting for the seeds though it was made clear to him that the MMSD-1 variety has been developed for the cultivation conditions of UP, Bihar and Odisha only.
Regarding MMSD-1, Prof Singh said that this variety has been developed in a joint venture of IRRI and BHU.
"It will be introduced next year for commercial sowing. The rice of MMSD-I looks like Basmati varieties in length," he explained.
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