The Indian government has chalked out a plan to join hands with the Guar Gum Manufacturers' Association to fund research institutions to develop new varieties of guar seed.
Officials in the ministry of commerce said that the project will be undertaken under the Market Access Initiative.
Guar Gum Manufacturers' Association president G L Sarda said that the industry will definitely participate with the government in the project. "It is high time we fund research projects to develop new varieties of guar seeds," Sarda said.
Already, the Haryana University has already developed hybrid varieties of the seed, which have been used by the state's farmers to boost yields. Haryana varieties result in a yield of 1,000kg per ha, compared with the average yield of 500-700kg per ha, allowing Haryana to emerge as a stronghold for guar cultivation.
The current species of guar takes 85-150 days to mature and the university is looking to reduce that period.
India is the major producer of Guar Seed followed by Pakistan and US. India's guarseed production fluctuates between years and has been around 2-6 lakh tons in the recent years. India's guar production in 2003, is estimated at around 6 lakh tons.
India accounts for 80% of the total guar produced in the world. 70% of India's production comes from Rajasthan. The other producers are Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Taking the US, Australian, African crop the total world supply of Guar Split is around 4-5 lakh tons in a normal year. It may even increase to 8 lakh tons as has been visible in 2003-04.
Guar is a crop of semi arid - sub tropical areas spread over the north and north west of India and east and south east of Pakistan. It is grown in arid zones of Rajasthan, some parts of Gujarat, Harayana, Madhya Pradesh. The main guar-growing region in India is Rajasthan.
Guar is a rain fed monsoon crop, which requires 8-15 inch of rain in 3-4 spells and is harvested in October - November. It is sown immediately after first showers say in July and harvested around November each year. The crop yield is directly related to the monsoon. It requires a relative long growing season of 20-25 weeks.
World market for guar gum is estimated to be around 150,000 tons/year, 70% of which is produced by India and Pakistan.
The export from India is around 115,000 tons and the domestic market is of around 25,000 tons.