August 11, 2009 Ludhiana
Punjab Agricultural University has recently developed three new varieties of vegetable crops including two of tomato (Punjab Varkha Bahar-1, Punjab Varkha Bahar-2) and one of arvi (Punjab Arvi-1). The State Variety Approval Committee for fruits, vegetables and flowers considered these varieties, discussed at length and approved for general cultivation in the state, in its recently held meeting under the chairmanship of Dr. Baldev Singh, Director Horticulture, Punjab.
The variety Punjab Varkha Bahar-1 has determinate plants with dense cover of dark foliage. It produces round, dark red and firm fruits. The variety takes 90 days from the date of transplanting to maturity. The variety is resistant to tomato leaf curl virus and produces a yield of 538 quintal per hectare.
The variety Punjab Varkha Bahar-2 of tomato has semi-determinate plants with dense light green foliage cover. It produces round dark red fruits of medium firmness. It takes 100 days from the date of transplanting for attaining maturity. This tomato leaf curl virus resistant variety yields on an average 541 quintal per hectare. These two varieties of tomato have been developed by Dr. D.S.Cheema and Dr. M.S.Dhaliwal of Department of Vegetable Crops.
The variety Punjab Arvi-1 of arvi (Colocasia) is the first variety of this crop developed by PAU. Its plants are tall, leaves dark green, large and obliquely erect. Petiole is long and sheathering at the base. The corms are brown, long of medium thickness with creamy inner flesh. The variety takes 176 days for maturity. Its average yield is 225 quintal per hectare. The variety is recommended for cultivation all over Punjab except district of Bathinda. The variety has been developed by Drs. D.S.Cheema, A.S.Dhatt and A.S.Sidhu.
The PAU Director of Research, Dr. P.S.Minhas said that PAU has developed 112 varieties of different vegetables so far including the three highlighted above. He mentioned that PAU lays focus on developing varieties which besides being high yielding combine tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. He said that the tomato varieties are suitable for growing in the rainy season.
The PAU Director Seeds, Dr. Sarabjit Singh Bal said that the seeds of new tomato varieties can be had from the Directorate of Seeds or Department of Vegetable Crops at PAU.
The PAU officiating Director of Extension Education, Dr. Daljit Singh Dhillon said that farmers will find these varieties better as unlike seeds of hybrid vegetables which are very costly, they can keep their own seed of these varieties for growing.
Head, Department of Vegetable Crops, Dr. Devinder Singh Cheema said that these varieties have been developed after rigorous testing at the research farms as well as on growers fields. He added that the response had been encouraging. He said that the tomato crop is generally affected by viral diseases during rainy season and that the cultivation of resistant/tolerant varieties can be helpful.