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Newly bred Indian potato variety said to be rich in antioxidants, ready for commercial production

Whether fried, baked or sliced, potato gels with nearly every Indian dish. Its bond with Indian consumers would be further strengthened with the introduction of a new variety said to be rich in antioxidants with excellent flavour when compared to traditional varieties.

Bred and developed by the Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI) in Shimla, the new variety is dark purple in colour and has a high yield compared to traditional varieties cultivated in India. 

Named ‘Kufri Neelkanth’, the average yield of the variety is 35-38 tonnes per hectare and is particularly suitable for planting in the North Indian plains. The average yield of the traditional variety in Punjab is 30 tonnes per hectare while the national average is 23 tonnes per hectare.

“Compared to the traditional variety, the one developed by us is highly rich in antioxidants and has moderate resistance to disease like late blight. It is easy to cook, free from after-cooking discoloration and has mealy texture. It is a specialty potato, rich in antioxidants besides other nutritional value with excellent flavour,” said Dr Brajesh Singh, Principal Scientist & Head, Division of Crop Physiology, Biochemistry & Post Harvest Technology at the Central Potato Research Institute in Shimla.

Singh said the variety has been developed and approved and in the process of being released by the Central Variety Release Committee (CVRC) for commercial cultivation.

The tubers of the hybrid are dark purple / black, oval in shape with medium deep eyes, cream coloured flesh, good storability and medium dormancy.

Read the full report by Vijay C Roy in The Tribune here