Kachri melon (a non-dessert form of Cucumis melo) diversity, germplasm utilization and varietal development under hot arid climate: Approaches and realization

Authors

  • D K Samadia PS
  • S M Haldhar PS
  • H Ram Scientist
  • A K Verma Scientist
  • P S Gurjar Scientist

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.58628/JAE-2418-103

Keywords:

Cucumis melo, kachri, non–dessert melons, heat tolerant germplasm, hot arid climate, varietal development in India, khejri technology, nature’s resilient farming

Abstract

The native crop plants genetic resource is very essential for nature’s resilient, region and season-specific varietal development and is also used in breeding programmes for resistance towards abiotic and biotic factors. Kachri and mat-kaachr or kachri melon (a non–dessert form of Cucumis melo var. callosus and agrestis) is an un-tapped arid zone cucurbit vegetable. Their vine plants are annual and short-duration in growth habit, and bearing 10.2–220.5 g weight fruits which are edible at maturity and unique in taste with ripening stages. It is wild and weedy types or semi-domesticated land-races and pre-dominantly grown mixed with the traditional farming in the north-western part of India. Intensive explorations and surveys were conducted in the state of Rajasthan from the year 1994 to 2001, and about 625 accessions were collected and studied over the period (1994 to 2012), and out of them, 68 germplasm lines were maintained for the conservation of regional diversity. The germplasm is evaluated repeatedly and characterized and categorized based on the plant morphology, maturity, utility of fruits and size, shape and skin colour of the mature fruits. On the basis of horticultural traits, fruit size, quality and yield components under the heat-stressed arid environment, the genotypes AHK-5, AHK-13, AHK-26, AHK-40, AHK-43, AHK-99, AHK-109, AHK-119, AHK-155, AHK-200, AHK-202, AHK-356, AHK-411, AHK-564 and AHK-572 were found the most promising and utilized in breeding programme. Unique quality, better fruit yielding, early harvesting and multiple stresses tolerating varieties, namely AHK-119 and AHK-200, developed for commercial cultivation. The development and recommendations of kachri melon production technology by ICAR-CIAH, Bikaner resulted in uniform and higher fruit yield (95–110 q/ha) as rainy and summer season harvest and now, its cultivation become much profit-making among the growers as a climate-smart crop. With the HBCPSMA concept, khejri and kachri technology exhibited high productivity of resources and family employment, and also returns @ Rs. 75,000–2,25,000 in comparison to the conventional cropping systems (Rs. 23,000–42,000) per ha/year under rainfed farming.

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Author Biographies

D K Samadia, PS

ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture, Bikaner, Rajasthan - 334006, India

S M Haldhar, PS

ICAR-National Research Centre for Integrated Pest Management, Rajpur Khurd, New Delhi-110068, India

H Ram, Scientist

ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture, Bikaner, Rajasthan - 334006, India

A K Verma, Scientist

ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture, Bikaner, Rajasthan - 334006, India

P S Gurjar, Scientist

ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture, Bikaner, Rajasthan - 334006, India

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Published

2024-05-26

How to Cite

Samadia, D. K., Haldhar, S. M., Ram, H., Verma, A. K., & Gurjar, P. S. (2024). Kachri melon (a non-dessert form of Cucumis melo) diversity, germplasm utilization and varietal development under hot arid climate: Approaches and realization. Journal of Agriculture and Ecology, 18, 14–27. https://doi.org/10.58628/JAE-2418-103

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