Scope and strategies for genetic improvement in vegetable crop-plants under high temperature and abiotic stressed climate of Rajasthan: A gap analysis
Un-exploited, under-scored and native crop-plants of horticultural significance have enormous potential in providing nutrition rich food and social security to inhabitants of desert and tribal areas of the north-western India. While conducting surveys and explorations for horticultural perspective, and examining distinctness of hot arid, semi-arid and sub-humid climate of Rajasthan from 1994 – 2004, it was concluded that un-availability of apposite crop–genotypes and production techniques are two major constraints which limiting dry-land vegetable promotion. Traditionally, kachri, kakadia, mateera, tinda and guar-phali ensuring native vegetable produce, besides, khejri (Prosopis cineraria) is playing vital role in long-established mixed farming systems of arid farm-lands. In addition, native land-races of kakri, kheera, kundru, kakoda, cowpea, sem-phali and okra are monsoon supported vegetable harvest in the semi-arid and tribal areas of state. Establishment of NRCAH during 1993 at Bikaner supported systematic research on collection, characterization and conservation of native vegetable crop-plants as regional diversity, and further work was intensified on germplasm utilization in particular for high temperature and abiotic stresses tolerant breeding. The crop-genotype studies over 45 vegetables at CIAH demonstrated that there is magnificent scope in obtaining higher marketable and quality yields, provided better and trait-specific genotypes and production site management (HBCPSMA) as integrated concept for vegetable cultivation under hot arid environment. Thus, conserving germplasm, developing genotypes and newer technological advancement in arid vegetables is an advantage towards better nutrition and farmer’s income under dry-land conditions.
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