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.
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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.