A first, monk fruit cultivation begins in Kullu : The Tribune India

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A first, monk fruit cultivation begins in Kullu

A first, monk fruit cultivation begins in Kullu


Our Correspondent

Palampur , July 15

The cultivation of monk fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii) from China has been taken up for the first time in India by the Palampur-based CSIR-IHBT.

The monk fruit is known for its properties as non-caloric natural sweetener. Its sweet taste is attributed to cucurbitane-type triterpene glycosides known as mogrosides, which is about 300 times sweeter than sucrose or cane sugar.

In spite of its high demand, this crop is only cultivated in China. However, suitable agro climatic conditions are also available in India, particularly in Himachal. Keeping in mind the importance and essentiality of non-nutritive natural sweetener and diverse agro-climatic conditions in India, Dr Sanjay Kumar, Director, CSIR-IHBT, Palampur, brought monk fruit seeds for the first time in the country from China through ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi, in March 2018.

Dr Probir Kumar Pal, Principal Scientist, along with other team members, developed a technology for the generation of quality planting material, its basic agronomic cultivation practices, fruiting technique and post-harvest management. At present, monk fruit is successfully being cultivated at the CSIR-IHBT with good quality fruits under farm conditions. The plant prefers mountainous area with an annual mean temperature of about 16–20°C and humid conditions, hence, Himachal is a suitable place for its large-scale cultivation.

Dr Sanjay Kumar, Director, CSIR-IHBT, initiated the monk fruit cultivation programme by planting its seedlings in the field of progressive farmer Manav Khullar at Raisonin Kullu yesterday. Nishant Thakur, member secretary, HIMCOSTE, was also present.


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