New hybrids of fruits, vegetables and flowers and state-of-the-art technology were part of the National Horticulture Fair, organised by the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) recently. Over 10,000 farmers, stakeholders and enthusiasts visited the fair. Arka Rakshak, a disease-resistant tomato hybrid, developed by Dr H.C. Prasanna, Principal Scientist, Genetics, is the first triple-disease resistant tomato F1 hybrid in the country.
Tomatoes are normally prone to Tomato Leaf Curl Virus (ToLCV), Bacterial Wilt (BW) and Early Blight (EB). “These diseases force farmers to quit tomato farming. It was developed by crossing an advanced breeding line from IIHR with another breeding line from the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (AVRDC), Taiwan. This variety yields about 140 tonnes per hectare and stays firm for up to 20 days,” said Prasanna.