New brinjal variant will reduce Goa’s dependence on Belagavi, says ICAR

By Times Of India on 25 Jun 2018 | read
PANAJI: The Goa-based ICARCentral Coastal Agricultural Research Institute (CCARI) has submitted a proposal to the state government for launching the wilt-resistant brinjal. Following its release, the new brinjal type can be identified as a variety and its seeds can be distributed among farmers for cultivation.

“We have submitted our proposal to the state government because they are the authorities to release it. Unless they do so, we cannot classify it as a new variety,” said R Ramesh, senior scientist, department of plant pathology.

TOI had reported on April 13 about the institute having developed a new kind of brinjal that can be grown without being susceptible to bacterial wilt, a soil-borne disease. Brinjals grown in coastal regions like Goa are very prone to this bacterial pathogen, which also affects tomatoes and chilies.

“If the disease is severe, 80% of the plants will die, ultimately causing loss to farmers. This discourages most farmers in Goa to grow brinjal in their farms,” said Ramesh.

At present, there is very little local production except the Taleigao and Agasaim varieties. Most of the brinjals available in the market come from Belagavi and other areas. Ramesh said farmers will benefit from the new varieties (see infographic) since the crop “will not die due to wilt.”

While the local varieties usually collapse before reaching fruition, the wilt-resistant brinjal is unlikely to face a similar fate.

“Once the state government releases this variety, we can disburse the seeds to farmers in the state. Even 2-3 kg of seeds are enough for distribution among 200 farmers.” he said.

Director, ICAR-CCARI, E B Chakurkar, said, “With its ability to resist plant pathogens, farmers will be convinced to grow these brinjal varieties. We can collaborate with the horticulture department to sell them at outlets across the state.”