Push for disease-resistant organic fruits

Healthy move:Scientists feel that developing fruit varieties that are resistant to major diseases will go a long way in promoting organic cultivation.— file photo  

To promote organic cultivation of fruits, plant breeders are now focussing on developing disease-resistant fruit varieties which can be grown without using pesticides.

Even as efforts are on to develop various cultivation practices to reduce pest attack, scientists now feel that developing varieties which are resistant to major diseases will go a long way in promoting organic cultivation.

About 120 plant breeders and horticulturalists from across the country are deliberating on issues related to development of disease-resistant varieties of fruits, among other things, at a symposium on ‘Fruit breeding in tropics and sub-tropics: an Indian perspective’ being jointly organised by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), in association with various agencies, from April 27 to 29.

IIHR Director M.R. Dinesh told The Hindu that organic fruits were not just healthier, but would also fetch additional income to farmers, especially in the export market.

Reducing time

The symposium would also focus on reducing the time required for development of new and improved fruit varieties to the range of 6 to 8 years from the present level of 15 to 20 years through use of innovative technologies. It would also look at the ways and means of conservation of indigenous fruit varieties, he noted. In addition to this, value addition possibilities for each of the fruit varieties would also be popularised among farmers, he said.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 1:46:30 PM |

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