Punjab has come up with offerings of a bouquet of improved crop and vegetable varieties which are rich in nutrients and can make valuable contributions to the nutritional requirements of India’s population.
PAU 1 Chapatti with low polyphenols and outstanding processing qualities has been shortlisted for commercialization whereas wheat candidate varieties having high grain protein, high zinc, low phytates (chemical group that reduces bioavailability of micro-nutrients and protein) and high carotenoids have been developed.
Besides this, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has offered to growers two carotene rich cherry tomato varieties called Punjab Sona and Punjab Kesar and two anthocyanin rich brinjal varieties called Punjab Raunak and Punjab Bharpoor with antioxidant properties.
These are also suitable for home/terrace/urban gardening. Inexpensive, nutrient rich home gardening pot mixture providing 40-50 per cent higher productivity along with appropriately designed pots and pot props have also been developed.
PAU has also identified wild rice accession with high grain protein and genetic stocks with high iron content for breeding rice with enhanced nutritional value. High grain iron and zinc lines have been identified in inter-specific crosses of chickpea.
Intense research efforts aiming at improvement of basmati are also being made at PAU, as a result of which a new variety ‘Punjab Basmati 7’ has been recommended for commercial cultivation in the basmati growing regions of the Punjab state. The variety has been developed by involving the strongly scented traditional basmati variety ‘Basmati 386’ and the most popular basmati variety ‘Pusa Basmati 1121’.