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Madhuban Gajar: Biofortified Variety

  • 09 Apr 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Madhuban Gajar, a biofortified carrot variety, is benefitting more than 150 local farmers in Junagadh, Gujarat.

  • It is being planted in an area of over 200 hectares in Junagadh, and the average yield, which is 40-50 tonne/hectare (t/ha), has become the main source of income to the local farmers.
  • It is used for various value-added products like carrot chips, juices, and pickles.

Key Points

  • Biofortified Variety: The Madhuvan Gajar is a highly nutritious carrot variety developed through the selection method with higher β-carotene content (277.75 mg/kg, source of Vitamin A) and iron content (276.7 mg/kg).
  • Developed By: Shri Vallabhhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya, a farmer scientist from Junagadh district, Gujarat.
    • He was conferred with a National Award by the President of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi during Festival of Innovation (FOIN)–2017.
    • He was also conferred with Padma Shri in the year 2019 for his extraordinary work.
  • Tested By: National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology during 2016-17. It was found that the Madhuban Gajar carrot variety possesses a significantly higher root yield (74.2 t/ha) and plant biomass (275 gm per plant).
  • Areas of Cultivation: The variety is being cultivated in more than 1000 hectares of land in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh.

Biofortification

  • Fortification is the practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient, i.e. vitamins and minerals in a food, so as to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health.
  • Biofortification is the process by which the nutritional quality of food crops is improved through agronomic practices, conventional plant breeding, or modern biotechnology.
  • Biofortification differs from conventional fortification in that biofortification aims to increase nutrient levels in crops during plant growth rather than through manual means during processing of the crops.
  • Increased nutritional quantity through biofortification will further support India's National Nutrition Mission.
    • Indian government launched the National Nutrition Mission (renamed as Poshan Abhiyaan) in March 2018.
    • The National Nutrition Mission is backed by a National Nutrition Strategy prepared by the NITI Aayog with the goal of attaining “Kuposhan Mukt Bharat" or malnutrition-free India, by 2022.

Festival of Innovation

  • The Festival of Innovation & Entrepreneurship (FINE) {previously known as Festival of Innovation FOIN)} is a unique initiative of the Office of the President of India to recognise, respect and reward grassroots innovations and foster a supportive ecosystem.
  • Hosted in the month of March at the President's House, the FINE has become a national celebration of creativity and innovation at and for the grassroots.

Source: PIB

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