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ICAR-PAU grapes' project in full swing

Written by: Staff
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Ludhiana, Apr 5 (UNI) The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), which was at the forefront of the 'Green Revolution', is engaged in extensive research on fruits, particularly in producing high quality grapes, that suit the state soil and climate.

This research work is being carried out under an ''All India Coordination Project'' jointly sponsored by the Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) and PAU. Under the project, a grant of Rs 12.50 lakh is being made available to the Horticulture department of the University for research on various fruits, including grapes.

A team of ICAR, led by Chairman S N Rao, visited PAU to oversee the research programme and laid emphasis on the seed bearing varities of grapes. The team, impressed by the research work, assured PAU of providing more funds.

Dr Malwinder Singh Gill, a scientist with the Horticulture department, said a number of grape varities had already been launched in Punjab and there were others on which research was in progress.

Head of the PAU's Horticulture department Yograj Chanana said grapes with seeds had a higher nutritional value than the seedless varities. ''Studies in the US have shown that the seed varities help check blood pressure and there is an anti-carcinogenic compound in them that controls or checks cancer,'' he added.

Dr Chanana said presently Bathinda and Mansa were the main grape producing belts of the state where 1200 hectare land was under this fruit. The annual production in these two districts alone was around 32,000 metric tonnes. According to PAU statistics, a farmer earns from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 per hectare from a healthy harvest of the grape fruit in the state.

Under the Coordination Project, the PAU is working on a number of research projects including production of grapes that are suitable to the soil and climate of the state, high wielding table varities of grapes and grapes suitable for the wine industry. A major project is to create a new variety by ''combining'' the germ plasma of the H-516 variety and H-27 variety.

UNI HS PV DS1230

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