By: RATTAN LAL NEGI
Solan Garima and Solan Sindhur are two new tomato hybrids that have been developed by Dr. Y. S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry Nauni, Solan in Himachal Pradesh. Both these hybrids are tall growing indeterminate, high yielding (50-60 tonnes per hectare) and suit to agro climatic conditions of mid hills.
Solan Garima is particularly developed for long distance transportation. Its fruits have a shelf life of 15-20 days thus surpassing all the prevalent hybrids of tomato, presently being grown by the farmers in mid hills. The fruits are medium to large in size i.e. 70-80 grams, suitable as a fresh table variety in salad and in cooking. Solan Garima has been observed to show resistance to drought coupled with prolonged bearing period starting from end of June to end of September under mid hill conditions of Himachal Pradesh. This hybrid has done equally well or better than other hybrids under polyhouse condition as well.
Similarly, Solan Sindhur hybrid of tomato is also tall growing and an indeterminate hybrid. It has most of the good characters of Solan Garima but excels in nutritional value because of high Total Soluble Solids and Lycopene. It is an all purpose medium fruited variety, earlier by about a week compared to Solan Garima. However, Solan Garima is unique in keeping quality and is the best known variety in mid hills for long distance transportation.
Both the varieties are recommended for growing in mid hills within elevations of 1,200 to 1,600 metres.
Himachal Pradesh is the leading supplier of fresh tomatoes to plains during summers and rainy season. With the advent of hybrid varieties, area under tomato in Himachal Pradesh has risen from 7,000 hectares to 10,000 hectares during the last one decade and production has gone up from 2.5 lakh tonnes to 3.5 lakh tonnes. At present the productivity of tomato in Himachal Pradesh under open field conditions is 30-35 tonnes per hectare.
The university has two colleges viz. College of Horticulture and College of Forestry having 14 departments offering undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in horticulture, forestry and allied disciplines.
College of Horticulture offers degrees like B.Sc. in Horticulture, M.Sc. and Ph.D. in pomology, Fruit Breeding and Genetic Resources, Post harvest Technology, Vegetable Crops, Floriculture & Landscaping, Mycology & Plant Pathology, Entomology & Apiculture and Biotechnology.
College of Forestry offers degrees like B.Sc. in Forestry, M.Sc. in Silviculture, Agro-forestry, Soil Science & Water Management, Agricultural Economics, Forest Products, Tree Improvement & Genetic Resources, Agricultural Statistics and Microbiology. MBA (Agribusiness) and Ph.D. in all subjects of M.Sc. except Agricultural Statistics and Microbiology. Foreign students also pursue there degree programmes. Some seats are reserved for NRIs. NRI-and industry-sponsored candidates in different degree programmes.