Bengaluru’s very own high-yielding tomato varieties of Arka Rakshak and Arka Samrat have helped their researchers bag a prestigious national award.
A team of horticultural scientists from the Hessarghatta-based Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) who had developed these varieties after a five-year research has been honoured with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s award for “Outstanding Interdisciplinary Team Research in Agriculture and Allied Sciences.”
These varieties represent the city even in their names as ‘Arka’ stands for the Arkavati river on whose bank IIHR is located.
According to Dr. A.T. Sadashiva, one of the main criteria for the award was the social and economic impact the research work had on society. These tomato varieties are not only high-yielding, but also show high resistance to three major diseases.
This reduces the cost of cultivation by 10 to 15 per cent in terms of savings towards the cost of fungicides and pesticides, he noted.
The fruits of these varieties are suitable for long-distance transportation as they are firm and have a shelf life of 15 to 20 days as against 10 to 12 days of other hybrids, and six to eight days of ordinary tomato varieties, Dr. Sadashiva added.
Arka Rakshak, which gives a yield of up to 19 kg a plant, is already sought after by farmers and traders in eight countries.
The award for the year 2013-14 was presented recently at a programme held in New Delhi to the nine-member team led by Dr. Sadashiva, principal scientist and Head of the Division of Vegetable Crops, IIHR.
The other members of the team are Dr. Peter Hanson, Dr. M. Krishna Reddy, Dr. Girija Ganeshan, Dr. C. Gopalakrishnan, Dr. K. Madhavi Reddy, Dr. S. Shankara Hebbar, Dr. T.H. Singh and Dr. K.V. Ravishankar.
Source: The Hindu