The ‘monk fruit’ from China, which is known for its properties as a non-caloric natural sweetener, was introduced for field trials in Himachal Pradesh by the Palampur-based Council of Scientific Research and Industrial Technology Institute of Himalayan Bio-resource Technology (CSIR-IHBT) in Kullu. The field trials have begun three years after the CSIR-IHBT imported its seeds from China and grew it in the house.
Fifty seedlings were planted in the fields of progressive farmer Manav Khullar from Raison village for field trials and CSIR-IHBT signed a ‘Material Transfer Agreement’ with Manav. The economic benefits of the new crop are estimated to be between Rs 3 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh per hectare. The plant prefers mountainous area with an annual mean temperature of about 16–20 °C and humid conditions.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- Himachal Pradesh Governor: Bandaru Dattatreya;
- Himachal Pradesh CM: Jai Ram Thakur.