Punjab, known as the granary of India, has come up with few improved crop and vegetable varieties that are rich in nutrients and can make great contributions to the nutritional requirements of the country’s population.
‘PAU 1 Chapatti’ with low polyphenols & outstanding processing qualities has been selected for commercialization whereas wheat candidate varieties with high grain protein, high zinc, low phytates (a chemical group that reduces the bioavailability of micro-nutrients and protein), and high carotenoids have been developed.
Moreover, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has offered to farmers two carotene-rich cherry tomato varieties known Punjab Sona and Punjab Kesar & two anthocyanin-rich brinjal varieties called Punjab Raunak & Punjab Bharpoor with antioxidant properties. These are suitable for home/terrace/urban gardening. Low-cost, nutrient-rich home gardening pot mixture providing 40-50 percent higher productivity along with appropriately designed pots and pot props have also been developed.
The varieties and genetic stocks have been developed by the PAU with support from the Promotion of University Research & Scientific Excellence (PURSE) grant provided by the Department of Science & Technology (DST). Besides varieties, a number of technologies for value-added products from nutritionally enhanced varieties of cereals, pulses & vegetables are on the cards.
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