UP farmer develops new variety of guava in mango belt

Lucknow (IANS) Malihabad, on the outskirts of Lucknow, is a famous mango belt, known for its Dussehri varieties of mangoes. The area now is becoming famous for cultivating nutrition-packed guavas as well.

Ram Vilas Maurya, a farmer from Bulakihar village in Malihabad, has developed a special variety of guavas that is not only high on nutrition and pulp but also grows round the year.

The farmer has now approached the Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture (CISH) to file a patent for this special variety which he has named as ‘Vilas Pasand’.

Maurya, who has never been to school and has never attended any special grafting workshop, said it was sheer curiosity that made him develop this particular variety of guava.

“I belong to a family of farmers. Almost 15 years ago, I thought of developing my own variety of guava through wedge grafting method,” he told reporters.

He tried his hands at different guava seedlings to get the best seedling from a common variety of guava and started multiplying it through wedge grafting.

After series of failures and years of observation, his tree finally bore fruit.

“Those fruits were different from the regular variety. They were not only pulpy but juicier than others. I also noticed that this particular variety also grew in off season,” said Maurya.

The news of the new variety of guava spread and not only the local farmers but also those from Maharashtra, Rajasthan and other parts of the country started approaching him for it.

“I supplied a large number of plants to farmers from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan as well as local farmers. But then I suffered a setback when I came to know that in view of its popularity, people had started illegal multiplication of my own variety. Then I decided to approach CISH to register this particular variety of guava,” he said.

Shailendra Rajan, director, CISH said ‘Vilas Pasand’ was indeed a different variety of guava.

“However, the only problem that was hindering the registration process was that the farmer had no documents to prove it was his work. We did all the paperwork and have facilitated the registration of the farmer’s guava variety,” said Rajan.

He said development of a plant variety required a lot of time and effort and to recover the cost of this research and development, the breeder may seek to obtain exclusive marketing rights.

To check illegal multiplying, there were sufficient provisions-the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV & FRA) Act, 2001 and International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), 1978, he added.

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