HomeInternational Rice Research Notesvol. 27 no. 2 (2002)

Vasumati—a New Basmati Variety Released in India

N. Shobha Rani | G.s.v. Prasad | S. P. Singh | K. Satyanarayana | T. Kondal Rao | P. Bhaskar Reddy | B. Krishnaveni

Discipline: Agriculture, Crop Science



India, the home of the longgrained aromatic rice Basmati, has established a monopoly in exporting basmati rice, which fetches a price two to three times higher than that of regular rice. The country earns as much as Rs 18 billion annually in foreign exchange. Although several aromatic rice varieties are grown and consumed as basmati, only a few types, such as Basmati 370, Type 3, Taroari Basmati, and Pakistani Basmati, are considered economically important as they possess the quality features required of exported rice (IARI 1980). The traditional basmati varieties are tall, low-yielding, and susceptible to a range of pests and diseases. Efforts to develop short-statured, nonlodging, high-yielding basmati varieties, insulated with pest and disease resistance and possessing distinct quality features, resulted in the release of Kasturi, Pusa Basmati 1, and other varieties in the early 1990s (Shobha Rani 1992). This was followed by several other varieties. But many of these varieties had few basmati characteristics. With the rise in exports of basmati from India since the 1990s, varietal improvement efforts received further impetus. Through coordinated efforts, 10 elite lines were identified, including IET15391 (RP3135-17-12-8-8)–released by the Central SubCommittee on Crop Standards, Notification and Release of Varieties, a national body–as Vasumati for traditional basmati-growing areas of northwestern India.