Why in News
The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) has developed a new marigold variety named Arka Shubha.
- High Carotene Content:Arka Shubha has carotene content of around 2.8% (for all marigolds, it’s maximum upto 1.4%) which is the highest among all plant sources.
- Used after Spoiled:This new variety of marigold can be used for extraction of crude carotene even if spoiled after full bloom, unlike that of other varieties.
- Ornamental & Carotene Extraction:This new variety not only has ornamental purpose but is also a good source of crude carotene.
- Poultry Feed:Its petals could be used as poultry feed to get quality yolk.
- Reduce Import Dependency:India imports most of its carotene from other countries, including China. This development can significantly reduce import dependency. Therefore, both cultivation area and investment on carotene extraction should be increased.
- Carotenes are carotenoid pigments that are oxygen-free. Mostly they are unsaturated hydrocarbons that contain only carbon and hydrogen.
- Their color varies from yellow to orange to red. The color is attributed to the chain of alternating single and double bonds.
- Carotene is responsible for the orange colour of carrots.
- α-carotene, β-carotene, and lycopene are examples of carotenes.
- Carotene is used in the pharmaceutical sector, there is always a high demand for it.
Indian Institute of Horticultural Research
- Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (Indian Council of Agricultural Research)is an autonomous organization under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
- IIHR has amain research station at Bengaluru and regional experiment stations at Bhubaneswar in Orissa and Chettalli in Karnataka with two Krishi Vigyan Kendras.
- The institute’s main research agenda was to increase the yields of horticultural crop varieties by developing high yielding varieties in fruits, vegetables, ornamentals and medicinal products.