Brimato: a grafted plant that grows both tomato and eggplant

The agricultural scientists at the Indian Institute of Vegetable Research, Varanasi successfully develop the Brimato – a grafted plant that yields both eggplants (brinjal) and tomatoes. Each plant yields up to 2.3 kilograms of tomato and 2.64 kilos of eggplants. Plans are afoot for its large-scale cultivation.

Scientists from the Indian Institute of Vegetable Research (IIVR), Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, a field unit of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), have developed a technique of grafting that allows two vegetables to grow from the same plant.  “The grafting of the tomato and eggplant has been successful. They are both from the same family though they have different characteristics,” Ananth Bahadur, principal scientist at IIVR, Varanasi, explained.

The Brimato incorporates the sturdy qualities of the eggplant plant that withstands both excessive waterlogging and droughts well, the principal scientist said. While so far they have experimented with grafting vegetables from the same family, the scientists plan to embark on grafting other vegetables together too.

“When the eggplants plant is about twenty-five to thirty days old, and the tomato plant is about twenty-two to twenty-five days old, they are grafted together,” Bahadur explained. Because of its hardiness, the rootstock of the eggplants is used as the base, after which the two vegetable plants are grafted, the scientist added.

After the grafting, the plant is kept in a controlled environment with carefully regulated temperature, humidity, and light. Then, the plant is kept in shade for five to seven days. In all, the entire grafting operation takes anything up to 18 days after which it is ready to be transplanted into the field, Bahadur said. 

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