Pune: If you are a guava lover who is itching for a change in taste and colour, then you will soon be lucky.
After 90-odd years of same flavour, guava is due to get a twist in its taste. Researchers at National Agriculture Research Project (NARP), in collaboration with Rahuri Agriculture University are developing a special ‘pink-pulp guava’. The research centre had developed the first variety of the fruit in 1926, after which they have now taken up a fresh research project.
The newly-developed fruit variety would have lesser seeds, will be sweeter, and sport dark-pink pulp, which will be useful in preparation of jams and barfis (sweets) among other things.
The research is underway, and considering the present demand in the commercial market for the pink-pulp guava, the fruit is finding its way to Maharashtra from other states.
In 2001, researchers in Uttar Pradesh had introduced a similar variety of guava named ‘Lalit’. After it attracted quite a few buyers, farmers from Maharashtra started cultivating this variety locally, taking seeds from UP. However, the crops suffered from a wilting disease and did not deliver as expected, with one of the key reasons being that the local conditions didn’t suit it.
Speaking to dna, assistant professor (pomology) Anil Kamble who is working on the variety, said, “The state had developed a guava variety named ‘Sardar’ in 1927 at the research centre, which yielded positive results. This variety is sweeter, is big in shape and has a white pulp. It will also sustain in any weather condition.”
Kamble said, “We have crossed certain genes of Sardar and Lalit together and developed the new variety.”
He added, “They will have fewer seeds, dark-pink pulp, will be sweeter and bigger in size.”
Kamble is of the opinion that the newly-developed variety will be used commercially, as it useful in making jams and sweets. Maharashtra is one of leading states in the country for guava production, and Ahmednagar district is at the forefront. The farmers, on an average earn up to Rs1 lakh from one acre of guava production.