CIC introduces high yield paddy variety
For the first time a private company, CIC Agri after many years of
research, has produced a high yielding paddy seed (white) at their
Pelwehera tissue culture laboratory.
Scientists at the CIC lab in Pelwehera. Pictures by Saliya
CIC Crops and Livestock Director/CEO Waruna Madawanaachchi told
'Daily News Business' that this has been named as CIC 301 and now
available in the market. "The CIC 301 would yield around 120 bushels per
acre which is very high," he said. The country average is around 70
bushels per acre.
He said the CIC 301 paddy plant is shorter than the normal plant
which makes it much stronger and it also can be harvested between 88 to
90 days. "One other unique advantage of CIC 301 is that it can be also
grown in areas where there is less water," he said.
CIC also invented a red basmati variety which is now being exported
to Europe, Australia and USA. It has unique features which restricts
diabetes. Rice is being exported to France for the first time in the Sri
Lankan agriculture history by CIC.
Director/CEO, CIC Crops
CIC Agri Business Director and CEO Keerthi Kotagama said that they
started exporting red Basmathi to France recently and the response was
very good. He said that in addition to France, they are also exporting
the CIC speciality rice to USA, UK, Australia New Zealand and Canada.
The Director/CEO also disclosed that Australia has also recognized
the capabilities of the CIC tissue culture lab and has also been
internationally recognized by Australia a country which has tough
quarantine regulations. "They have contracted us to create an Australian
native plant through tissue culture technology," he said.
Similarly Denmark too has contracted CIC to grow ornamental plants
for the country. Rwanda too has placed an order with CIC to grow a plant
(Pirathrin) which is used to produce many other byproducts.
Dr. Sumith Abeysiriwardane who is in-charge of the tissue culture lab
said that they are now in the process of introducing a hybrid variety of
brinjals and dambala soon.
CIC took over the loss making farm in 2002 and today it has the best
tissue culture lab in the region. CIC is the only private company to
have most number of paddy land which is 700 acres. The company invested
Rs. 150 million for the tissue culture lab. The lab is also the only
private soil and seed testing facility in Sri Lanka.