Governor N.N. Vohra, Chancellor of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology- Kashmir (SKUAST-K), has congratulated Prof. Nazeer Ahmed, Vice Chancellor of the University and the team of researchers of this Institution on being awarded by the Indian Society of Genetics & Plant Breeding for evolving “Composite 15-(C15)”, a landmark variety of maize .
Composite-15 was developed by the Srinagar Centre of All India Coordinated Research Project on Maize, under the leadership of Dr. M.I. Handoo, Principal Plant Breeder. The other Plant Breeders, involved in management and dissemination, were Prof A.H. Banday, Prof. G.H. Zargar, Prof. G.M.Tak, Prof. F.A.Nehvi and scientists Dr. S.A. Dar, Dr. M.I. Makhdoomi, Dr. A.A. Lone, Dr. Z.A. Dar and Dr. B.A. Alalie.
The Composite-15 was derived from European Material possessing traits which are important in temperate maize production, like early maturity and cold tolerance. It matures in about 135-140 days in the Valley and is recommended for higher elevations upto 2400 m. It shows resilience to drought and resistance to Tedium Leaf Blight and Stem Borer, with a yield potential of 60-70 q/ha. Flour from C15 has a good chapatti making quality and is preferred by people living in the high altitude areas, it has a higher biomass and stover is fed to cattle, the variety is being cultivated presently in an area of approximately 20,000 ha.