Internationally it is recognised that the addition of a new sugarcane variety plays a significant role in improving cane yield in the field and the quality of sugar manufactured at the factory. The primary objective of the research institute for initiating this programme was to develop new sugarcane varieties capable of producing sugar and other products of economic importance at a cost lower than which could be attained from the existing commercial varieties. Research work on development of new cane varieties has continued on a priority basis.
Approval of a New Cane Variety Spsg-26
The Government of Pakistan approved SPSG-26 for commercial cultivation in 1998. SPSG-26 has given high yield, early maturity and resistance against major diseases. The institute was host of an engineering and energy workshop on factory design awarded to Pakistan in 1997 by ISSCT. 78 delegates from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Malaysia, South Africa, UK and USA attended the workshop.
Approval of a new cane variety SPSG-394
The Government of Pakistan approved SPSG-394 for commercial cultivation in NWFP in 2003. Agronomic trials to develop low cost production technology were completed. Plantation of endangered five thorn species on separate layout. Cut flower project included tuberose and gladiolus. Organic Sugar Certification from SKAL International, Netherlands. Drip tape irrigation installation Rainmaker Limited Australia. Post doctorate of a scientist on DNA fingerprinting in molecular biology and other completed training on genetic improvement of sugarcane from Coimbatore India in 2005.
Approval of New Cane Varieties
Two new cane varieties of the institute NSG-311 as an excellent ratooner, early maturing and NSG-555 as excellent yielder, very early maturing self-trashing and suitable for mechanised harvesting were approved for commercial cultivation by the Government of Pakistan. Vertical increase in acreage of NSG-311 and NSG-555 was recorded. Survey for the varieties acreage conducted has shown that NSG-311 and NSG-555 was cultivated on 6,000 acres in cane supply zones of Shakarganj during 2007 New cane varieties of CSSG, CPSG, HoSG and NSG series having high yield were included in the National Uniform Varietal Yield Trial. Shakarganj’s challenge, however, is to develop more new varieties that are as good as or better than the ones farmers are planting to avoid any unexpected epidemic.