Executive Summary :
Objective: Quality Seed production: 500Kg for Dissemination across 500 farmers for around 50-100 hactares under cultivation belonging to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh region; Establishing linkage of the variety “CIM-Pushti” with farmers and pharmaceutical industry/nutraceutical industry
Summary: COVID-19 pandemic mitigation demands the need for a robust immunomodulatory adaptogen to which Ashwagandha is a potential candidate. Global trade of Ashwagandha root powder-based products in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sectors has increased from 810 M$ to 1160M$ (Directorate General of commercial intelligence and statistics, January 2019). Indian largest herbal market Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh in June 2020 is procuring dry root at Rs 42000/quintal. To increase production, the limited area under Ashwagandha cultivation need to be replaced with better high yielding and fine quality Ashwagandha varieties. Under the Aegis of CSIR FTT and in stream with the Withanolide targeted breeding program at CSIR-CIMAP, a new variety ‘CIMPushti’ has been developed (2008-2018) through intra-specific hybridization between ‘Nagouri’ X ‘Kashmiri, the two major ecotypes prevalent in India. It combines the root quality of Nagouri type (cultivated and annual type) and biomass yield of Kashmiri type (wild, perennial type) in one genotype background. The characteristics of this variety are highly wavy, sub-coriaceous, light green leaves with semi-erect, strong culm, and yellowish-orange mature berries. Root is whitish cream with non-separable rind, fine pulverisable, brittle roots with high starch to fiber ratio and Withanolide-A content average 0.713mg/g dry weight basis. It is also high in Withanolide-B (0.460 mg/g dry weight basis) and negligible presence of Withanone. It matures in 168-178 days producing average yield of 9-10 quintal per hectare. It is tolerant to leaf blight. The variety was released in 2018 suitable for cultivation in the Indian agro-climatic zones (VIII, XIII & XIV) i.e. Central Plateau, Western dry region and Gujarat planes regions of India. This variety is proposed here for commercialization through public participatory approach and contractual farming and also for replacement of poor performing variety showing ceiling in the yield and quality.