Nearly 15 years of research by agriculturists at the Maharana Pratap University for Agriculture and Technology (MPUAT) is finally bearing (Red) fruit.
Dr SS Lakhawat, HOD, Department of Horticulture, MPUAT in his note to media said that over the last 15 years, agri scientists at MPUAT have been doing research on a new fruity variety. The department is waiting for results of the crop towards the end of winter this year, following which further action on naming the fruit, which is a Guava variety, will be initiated. The patent will be filed subsequent to the results and input from across the vegetation centers.
Till date, the green or mid yellow guava with a white interior as well as a green guava with a reddish pink interior was already available in the market for ages. However, scientists at MPUAT are in the process of exploring the results of a new breed of guava fruit, one that is red from the exterior, similar to an apple. This red guava is expected to be far sweeter than the ordinary guava. Though the red guava first came into existence in Punjab, but the fruit demands that the temperature be less than 5 degree Celsius. The red guava that has been explored by scientists at MPUAT, can be grown anywhere and is not temperature dependant, though colder temperatures will increase the sweetness as well as the red external skin of the fruit.
Once the fruit is patented and a name is given, consumers will witness a new kind of guava, with a red shiny exterior like an apple. The pulp will however be creamy white and will be sweeter than the vanilla guava varieties. As per the horticulture department, the guava till date was 13% sweet, but this new fruit will be more than 15% in sweet concentration.
Colder temperature will be more conducive for multi location production
The department said that if the fruit is grown in colder temperatures, the results will be far better. It experts are to be believed, a 5 year old tree in temperatures like Rajasthan, will produce 50kg of Red Guava per year. 400 such trees can be planted in one hectare, whereas the normal guava tree density is 250 trees per hectare..
As per the department of Horticulture, MPUAT, identification, multi location trial, recommendation of location for growth of fruit, etc will be planned and defined only after the end of winters this year. The COVID pandemic has delayed the multi location production testing, because getting the hybrid plant to different centers was delayed significantly.
UdaipurTimes interacted with Prof SS Lakhawat, who gave this information. The plant is being tested for commercial production in the northern areas of Rajasthan, Ganganagar and Bikaner being among the districts. Once the fruit meets expectations of competing with other local and seasonal varities can the decision on commercial production take place. As per Prof Lakhawat, multi location testing of the perennial plant will define future course of action and the team is positive of the outcome. Other colder states, like Punjab, regions of UP and Uttarakhand and northern parts of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar could be the possible commercial production centers.