Maize cultivation in the Himalayan regions has always be challenging for the farmers. The average yield is almost half in the region as compared to the plain terrains. For example, the average maize yield in the plains of Uttarakhand is around 1879 kg per hectare while in the hilly regions, it falls to 976 kg per hectare.
In order to multiply maize production in the hilly regions, ICAR-Vivekananda Parvatiya Krishi Anusandhan Sansthan (VPKAS), Almora has developed a hybrid variety, Vivek Maize Hybrid 45. It is an early maturing (85-90 days) variety and a high yielding crop, produces 5,000 to 5,500 kg per hectare.
This variety is tolerant to Turcicum and Maydis Leaf Blight, was released by VPKAS in 2013 for cultivation in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
In May 2015, after a training programme, the hybrid variety was recommended for cultivation in the Kalsi and Chakrata blocks in Dehradun, a traditional maize growing area. Ten farmers of these two blocks grown the crop which multiplied their crop dramatically despite the region got deficient rainfall. The variety has capacity of standing green even in the low rainfall. The stay green trait of the crop makes it suitable as green fodder for the cattle after the harvesting.
According to the farmers, the damage due to high speed wind was lesser than their traditional maize varieties. They are now interested to grow that hybrid variety of maize in the next crop season. In order to uninterrupted supply of hybrid seeds, VPKAS has initiated seed production facilities at the village level.