Ludhiana, February 24
With change in lifestyle patterns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of emphasis is being laid on healthy and nutritious diet. Exotic fruits and vegetables are in trend due to their appeal, colour, nutrition, pleasant aroma, delicate flavour and luscious taste.
The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has developed several varieties of strawberry, figs, date palm, grapes, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, celery, lettuce, sweet pepper and baby corn, which can be cultivated by farmers for consumers as well as domestic consumption.
Sheetal Chawla, Assistant Director, Publications, PAU, shared, “The university has developed new varieties of strawberry namely Chandler and Winter Dawn last year.”
“Fruits are consumed as fresh and for the processing purpose. A wide range of products like squash, ice-creams, jams, syrups, ready to serve, cosmetic and confectionaries can be prepared from strawberry,” said Sheetal Chawla.
Among figs (anjeer), two varieties Black Fig 1 and Brown Turkey have been recommended by the PAU. Known for their excellent flavours, medicinal and dietary properties, figs are consumed as fresh, dried, candied, preserved, canned or used for making of jam.
“Hillawi and Barhee are the varieties of date palm (khajoor) which can be eaten as raw, dry and soft dates. They are rich source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants,” Sheetal Chawla added.
In grapes, Superior Seedless, Punjab MACS Purple (for red wine), Flame Seedless, Beauty Seedless and Perlette (for vinegar preparation) are the PAU recommended varieties.
Among vegetables, Palam Samridhi and Punjab Broccoli I are the varieties developed by the PAU. Saag Sarson and Chini Sarson-I varieties are recommended by the PAU. “Baby corn has export potential and is a delicacy in hotels, airlines and shipping companies because of its sweet flavour. Farmers can get remunerative returns from the cultivation of exotic fruits and vegetables. They can follow package of practices for fruits and vegetables, brought out by the PAU, for successful cultivation of these crops,” said Sheetal Chawla. —
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