Madhuban Gajar: Biofortified Variety

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More than 150 farmers in Junagadh district of Gujarat have been benefitted by Madhuban Gajar, a biofortified carrot variety. With an average yield of 40 - 50 tonne/hectare (t/ha) , Madhuban Gajar has become the main source of income for the local farmers.

Overview

  • Madhuban Gajar is being planted in an area of over 200 hectares in Junagadh.
  • This Gajar variety has been developed by Shri Vallabhbhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya who is a farmer scientist from Junagadh district, Gujarat.
  • Shri Vallabhbhai Vasrambhai Shri Vallabhbhai Vasrambhai was also conferred with a National Award by the President of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan during Festival of Innovation (FOIN) – 2017 at New Delhi. He also got Padma Shri in the year 2019 for his extraordinary work.
  • Used in various value-added products like carrot chips, juices, and pickles.
  • It is a highly nutritious carrot variety developed through the selection method along with the higher β-carotene content (277.75 mg/kg, source of Vitamin A) and iron content of 276.7 mg/kg.
  • This variety is being under cultivation in more than 1000 hectares of land in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh.

Festival of Innovation (FOIN)

  • The Festival of Innovation & Entrepreneurship (FINE) was earlier known as Festival of Innovation FOIN.
  • A unique initiative of the Office of the President of India.
  • Aim is to recognise, respect and reward grassroots innovations and foster a supportive ecosystem.

National Innovation Foundation (NIF) -India

It is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology during 2016 - 17.

It was also revealed that this Gajar variety possesses a significantly higher root yield (74.2 t/ha) along with plant biomass (275 gm per plant) .

Fortification

  • Fortification is the practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient i.e.. , vitamins and minerals in food.
  • To improve the nutritional quality of the food supply.
  • Providing a public health benefit with minimal risk to health.

Biofortification

  • It is the process of increasing the nutritional quality of food crops using agronomic practices, conventional plant breeding, or modern biotechnology.
  • It differs from conventional fortification in that biofortification aims to increase nutrient levels in crops during plant growth rather than using manual means.
  • Nutritional quantity increased through biofortification will further support India՚s National Nutrition.
    • NNM was launched in March 2018 by the government of India.
    • This mission is supported by National Nutrition Strategy prepared by the NITI Aayog along with the goal of attaining “Kuposhan Mukt Bharat” or malnutrition-free India, by 2022.

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