The Dharwad-based Sarpan Agri Horticulture Research Centre (SAHRC) has come out with a high-yielding, high-value hybrid variety of Byadgi chilli, which is known throughout the world for its high colour, low pungency and good flavour.

However, the area under Byadgi chilli has come down over the years due to low yield, among other reasons.

Director (R & D) of SAHRC Nijagundeva Gaddagimath, who headed a team of scientists that developed the new hybrid variety, said that research at SAHRC had disproved the belief that hybrids were less tasty than the traditional local varieties. Mr. Gaddagimath said that the hybrid variety had been developed by conventional plant breeding techniques. The hybrid is pest and disease resistant and can withstand low as well as high rainfall.

He said that the Sarpan Byadgi hybrid chilli has been under cultivation in rainfed areas for the last seven years. One of the features of the hybrid variety is early flowering and fruiting, assuring a minimum yield of 250 kg to 350 kg per acre under rainfed conditions. The best yield has been 900 kg per acre under well distributed kharif rain. Fruit rot was also minimum to the extent 5 per cent to 10 per cent under severe conditions.

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