New rose varieties a hit at horticultural fair

A special spray technology that increases mango production and three new varieties of rose are the main attractions at the five-day Regional Horticultural Fair-2017 that began at the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) in Hesaraghatta on Sunday.

Five southern states and Maharashtra are participating in the fair which aims to bring all those involved in agriculture and horticulture together to make better use of research and technology. Around 125 scientists from across India will be sharing their expertise at the fair which coincides with the Golden Jubilee Year of Research in Horticulture. The theme is ‘Horticulture for Rural and Urban Prosperity’.

The fair was inaugurated by Dr T Mohapatra, director general of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, IIHR director M R Dinesh, and Dr K Narayana Gowda, former vice-chancellor of the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru.

Scientists are demonstrating the special spray technology, which increases mango production and reduces insects that damage the yield. Farmers visiting the fair seem to be impressed by the technology. Three new varieties of rose — Arka Ivory, Arka Pride and Arka Sukanya, developed by IIHR scientists — are also drawing farmers.

Dr B Narayanaswamy, principal scientist (agriculture extension), IIHR, said there was a lot of demand for the new varieties of roses. He said farmers in Chikkamagaluru district were growing them but they needed to be popularised at a wider scale. Their flowers are bigger, have more fragrance and can make better Gulkand.

In all, 58 varieties of fruits and vegetables are on display at the fair, which saw 7,000 visitors — farmers, NGOs, researchers, companies involved in agriculture and horticulture, agricultural universities, animal husbandry departments, individuals and institutions — on the first day alone.

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