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Madhuban Gajar, a biofortified carrot variety with high β-carotene and iron content developed by Shri Vallabhhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya, a farmer scientist from Junagadh district, Gujarat is benefitting more than 150 local farmers in the area.
The Madhuvan Gajar is a highly nutritious carrot variety developed through the selection method with higher β-carotene content (277.75 mg/kg) and iron content (276.7 mg/kg) dry basis and is used for various value-added products like carrot chips, juices, and pickles.
Among all the varieties tested, beta-carotene and iron content were found to be superior.
National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India conducted validation trials for this variety at Rajasthan Agricultural Research Institute (RARI), Jaipur.
- In the trials, it was found that Madhuban Gajar carrot variety possesses a significantly higher root yield and plant biomass as compared to check variety.
Biofortification is the process by which the nutritional quality of food crops is improved through agronomic practices, conventional plant breeding, or modern biotechnology.
Biofortification differs from conventional fortification in that biofortification aims to increase nutrient levels in crops during plant growth rather than through manual means during processing of the crops.
Biofortification may therefore present a way to reach populations where supplementation and conventional fortification activities may be difficult to implement and/or limited.
Examples of biofortification projects include:
- iron-biofortification of rice, beans, sweet potato, cassava and legumes;
- zinc-biofortification of wheat, rice, beans, sweet potato and maize;
- provitamin A carotenoid-biofortification of sweet potato, maize and cassava; and
- amino acid and protein-biofortification of sourghum and cassava.