IIVR helps grow multiple vegetables in one plant

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Varanasi (UP), October 17 (IANS) Imagine planting one plant and getting multiple vegetables from it for your kitchen needs.

Scientists at ICAR-Indian Institute of Vegetable Research (IIVR), Varanasi are now working on a new single plant that will yield three vegetables simultaneously- brinjal, tomato and chilli.

The new plant is yet to be named.

The scientists had earlier developed 'Pomato' that yields potatoes and tomatoes on a single plant and 'Brimato' that yields brinjal and tomatoes together.

Using the grafting technique, the scientists at ICAR-IIVR, first developed 'Pomato'.

Under the guidance of IIVR director Dr T.K. Behera, Dr Anant Bahadur, principal scientist (vegetable) and head division of crop production at ICAR-IIVR, Varanasi is now working on developing this unique single plant to yield three veggies.

"The grafting of chilli and tomato plants has been done on the brinjal rootstock and the plant is growing well. We are quite hopeful that it will start yielding chilli, brinjal and tomatoes by the end of January 2024,” said Dr Bahadur.

He said that he would analyse the feasibility of its cultivation.

Speaking about 'Pomato', Dr Bahadur said, "Potato tubers were germinated. Then grafting of tomato plants was done on the germinated potato tubers. As per the need, the plant was irrigated from time to time. It grew well and bore tomatoes above ground and potatoes below the ground."

'Pomato', as a single plate, yielded around three kg of tomatoes and around 1.25 kg of potatoes, he added.

Thereafter, in 2019, Dr Anant Bahadur with his team grafted both the brinjal and tomato hybrids on the Brinjal root stock tolerant to waterlogging and salinity.

In 2019, his team succeeded in getting the desired result. He said the 'Brimato' is capable of surviving in waterlogged conditions for four days, whereas a normal plant wilts and gets destroyed in such conditions within 24 hours.

In October, the plant was transplanted, and brinjals and tomatoes were harvested till March.

A single plant yields around 3 kg of tomatoes and 2.5 kgs of brinjals, said Dr Bahadur.

Dr Bahadur said, "The special plant, 'Brimato', yields tomatoes and brinjals. It can be grown in kitchen gardens, backyards and also in small fields."