Adding to the existing varieties of amaranth and palak, two important leafy vegetables grown in India, the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) has released two improved varieties of amaranth and a variety of palak.
Leafy vegetables are the richest and cheapest sources of vitamins (A and C) and minerals (calcium, iron, potassium, etc.,), which are required for maintaining proper health of human beings. Arka suguna and arka arunima are the two varieties of amaranth and arka anupama is the palak variety, which has been released after multi-locational testing.
A release said that the vegetable crop division of IIHR had collected the germ plasm, and had taken up evaluation and crop improvement. Arka arunika, the purple amaranth variety, has got excellent cooking quality, and is rich in vitamins and minerals, the release said. Arka suguna is rich in calcium and iron contents, it added.
These amaranth varieties can be grown over a wide range of agro-climatic conditions and can come up well throughout the year, but [they] require well drained soil.
Arka anupama is rich in protein, carotenes, vitamin C, and minerals, phosphorus and potassium. Though palak is commonly cultivated as a cool season vegetable, arka anupama can be grown throughout the year.
Details can be had from the Director of IIHR, Hessaraghatta, Bangalore, or on Ph: 28466420, 28466422, 28466423 and 28466420 Extension 284.