ICAR-IIHR-Central Horticultural Experiment Station, Bhubaneswar organized field day on “Arka Neelachal Gourav” high yielding Teasel Gourd variety” on 12-01-2023 at Parekana village, Satyabadi Block, in Puri District of Odisha, in the field raised by a progressive farmer Sri Ramesh Chrandra Swain. At the outset, Dr. P. Srinivas, Principal Scientist welcomed the gathering and briefed about the objectives of field day and introduced the farmers to CHES and IIHR activities. Dr. A.V.V. Koundinya, Scientist explained about the suitability of Teasel gourd in Odisha along with the crop production schedule, nutritional management, and other horticultural practices to be followed to reap full potential of the crop. Assistant Horticulture Office of Satyabadi Block, Sri Tribhuvan Badjena and the village Sarpanch Sri Gopal Chandra Mishra, also shared their views on introduction of Arka Neelachal Gourav in Parekana village by CHES(ICAR-IIHR), Bhubaneswar, and appreciated the efforts made by Sri Ramesh Chrandra Swain for having the courage to take up new crop and show very good results.
Around more than 60 farmers gathered at the venue visited the teasel gourd field and appreciated the heavy fruiting, low pest and disease incidence, high plant vigour, and excellent quality of the fruits. Interacting with the farmers, Sri Ramesh Chrandra Swain expressed that Arka Neelachal Gourav had not only showed high resistance against diseases but there is regular heavy fruiting fetching as high as ₹120 per kg of fruits with a high market demand from the local traders and more and more farmers of the region need to take up this crop. Sri Swain has informed the gathered farmers that per week he harvests up to 50-70 kgs of fruits from his 0.20 acres of plot having around 300 plants.. One of the local traders Sri Ramesh Chandra Panda said that there is high consumer preference and demand for Arka Neelachal Gourav, as it has the flavour of desi kankad and the trades are not able to get sufficient fruits for market. Dr. P. Srinivas, Principal Scientist, and Dr. A.V.V Koundinya, Scientist coordinated the organisation of the Arka Neelahal Gourav field day.