Tuesday, August 20, 2019


ICAR-IIHR unveils fruits & veg in hybrid and virus-resistant varieties
Tuesday, 05 February, 2019, 12 : 00 PM [IST]
Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
ICAR- Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR) has launched a slew of fruits, including guava, mango and disease-free pomegranate. In the vegetable category, it unveiled the Arka Abhad variety of tomato.

The hybrid guava breed with fewer seeds is referred to as Arka Poorna. The fruit was launched in the market last year, and already, several farmers across the state and the country have commenced the plantation of the hybrid. It has been available in the market at a price of about Rs 50 per kg.

The fruit needs to grow as a tree where 50-80 guavas grow. Therefore, the tree cannot be grown in house gardens as it occupies a lot of space. The temperature suitable to grow this hybrid is 20 degrees.

The Institute undertook 12 years of research to come out with the first hybrid.

Dr M Shankaran, principal scientist, Division of Fruit Crops, ICAR- Indian Institute of Horticulture Research, said, “The hybrid guava Arka Poorna is a cross between the Allahabad variety of Safeda and Chhattisgarh VNR Bihi. Each variety could be white or pink and weighs 300g.”

The team of scientists at the institute are working on two high-yielding hybrid varieties of  sapotas and mango, and have successfully developed virus-resistant pomegranate, jamun and custard apple.

A T Sadashiva, principal scientist and head, division of vegetable crops, ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticulture, said, “Arkha Abhed tomato hybrid variety is juicy, tasty and yields disease-free tomatoes with high nutritional value.”

At the three-day ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticulture Research fair held at its campus located in Ivar Kandapaura, Hessaraghatta Lake Post, Bengaluru, in January 2019, all the varieties were displayed.

Further, Arka Rakshak, a licensed product of ICAR-IIHR, is being sold too. The Institute also cautioned that legal action will be taken against those found to be selling spurious product under the brand name of Arka Rakshak.

In early January 2019, the institute organised an entrepreneurial training programme on mushroom spawn production and mushroom cultivation. This was conducted at the  Mushroom Lab, Plant Pathology Division. At least 30 candidates from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Telangana, Haryana, Maharashtra and Rajasthan attended the training. The group included four women entrepreneurs. The group was given advance end-to-end hands-on training on various aspects of mushroom spawn production, mushroom cultivation, mushroom processing and value addition, mechanisation and energy management in mushroom farms, ancillary activities associated with the mushroom industry and utilisation of mushroom technology as a social enterprise.
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