To boost output, the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), a premier institute credited for developing most of the rice and wheat varieties in the country, has introduced a new high yielding variety of wheat seed variety. The new seed variant – HD 3386, recently approved by the central seed committee of the agriculture ministry, is resistant to yellow, and leaf rust diseases mostly reported in the key wheat growing region of northwest region – Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

“We have signed MoU with 100 odd private and farmers owned companies for seed multiplication so that it reaches the farmers at the earliest,” AK Singh, director, IARI told FE. Because of the its inherent disease resistance capability, the wheat yield and quality of grain has been found to robust, Singh said

The private entities will multiply seed usage through making foundation seed from breeder seeds supplied by IARI.


Singh said the new wheat seed variety is aimed at replacing the currently used seed HD2967 also developed by IARI in 2010 and was sown in around 25% of the total wheat sown area of 34 million hectare in the country last season. In terms of yield, the existing variety has productivity of around 22 quintal/acre while the new variant has productivity of 25 quintal/acre.

Officials said that new wheat seed variants will be available to farmers on a large scale in the next two years. Most wheat seeds used by the farmers are developed by the government owned institutions – IARI, Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR) and Punjab Agricultural University. According to an official note, more than 96% of the total wheat area grows bread quality grain.

Gyanendra Singh, director, IIWBR , based in Karnal, Haryana recently said that wheat output this year 2023-24 crop year (July-June) may cross the current estimate of 112 million tonne (MT) because of factors such as record sown area at 34 million hectare, longer winter season and no reports of disease outbreak.

“More than 90% of current wheat varieties are climate resilient heat tolerant varieties while 60% of varieties have been introduced in the last five years,” Singh had stated.

However, the roller flour millers federation of India and Agri-watch crop survey released last month had projected wheat output in 2023-24 is projected at 105.79 MT, up 3% on year.

Wheat is a key rabi or winter crop, largely grown in states – Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat. The government purchases wheat from the farmers under the minimum support price (MSP) operations aimed at supplying free grain (18 MT annually) under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana and to build up a buffer.

Govt introduces high yielding & disease resistance wheat variety