Bitter Gourd Field Day was conducted in ‘Hybrid Mode’ (both offline and online) on 7 January 2022 at ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru, India to demonstrate the 2021 APSA-WorldVeg Vegetable Breeding Consortium Bitter gourd exclusive lines. Seven better yielding bitter gourd hybrids of different market segments that are resistant to the local race of powdery mildew in Thailand and one hybrid that is resistant to the Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus. viz., AVBG 2002, AVBG 2004, AVBG 2005, AVBG 2105, AVBG 2106, AVBG 2108 and AVBG 2019 were raised for demonstration at ICAR-IIHR. Field day of these bitter gourd hybrids was organized for the benefit of the Consortium Companies. There were totally 36 participants; 18 from Private Seed companies, 16 from ICAR-IIHR and 2 from WVC Regional Centre, Hyderabad. In addition to this, there were 14 seed company participants along with officials from WVC, Taiwan and APSA who joined the meeting online.
The program started by playing of ICAR and IIHR songs followed by welcome address given by Dr. T. S. Aghora, Principal Scientist & I/c Head, Division of Vegetable Crops and Nodal Officer, PME cell. Then Dr. Ramakrishna M. Nair, Regional Director, WVC South/Central Asia gave welcome address and appreciated ICAR-IIHR for successfully organizing the field day in spite of the prevailing Covid pandemic, of course by following all Covid guidelines.
Then brief introduction about the field day was given by Dr. N.S. Dhillon, Bitter gourd breeder from WVC, Taiwan by pre-recorded video. This was followed by the presentation of observations about the seven hybrids grown at ICAR-IIHR by Dr. B Varalakshmi, Principal Scientist & Organizing Secretary of the field day. For the benefit of the online participants, a pre-recorded video of the bitter gourd field was played. After this, all the queries raised by the participants regarding race picture of powdery mildew and ToLCNDV were cleared by Dr. N. S. Dhillon from WVC, Dr. B. Varalakshmi, Mr G M Sandeep Kumar, Pathologist and Dr. B. Mahesha, Pathologist from IIHR.
Dr. Kanokwan (May) Chodchoey, Executive Director of APSA, Thailand in her remarks (online) emphasized the importance of Inter-institute collaborations and thanked IIHR for organizing such an event for the benefit of APSA members. Then Mr. Ben Wang, Director-General of Taipei Economic and Cultural Center, Chennai (online) gave his remarks about the field day. Dr. B. N. S. Murthy, Director, ICAR-IIHR in his remarks said that IIHR and WVC had planned to conduct demonstration trials of WVC Tomato, Chilli, Capsicum and Bitter gourd hybrids at ICAR-IIHR with the financial assistance from WVC and the present Bitter gourd trial and field day is the first of that and others will follow. He appreciated the efforts of WVC in developing high yielding and disease resistant hybrids in these crops for the benefit of farmers.
Vote of thanks was proposed by Mr. G M Sandeep Kumar, this was followed by Indian National Anthem.
After this meeting, participants were taken to the Bitter gourd field in Block-8 of Division of Vegetable crops, wherein 7 hybrids were grown along with check hybrids. All the private company representative have visited the plots of different hybrids and critically observed their performance and noted their choice hybrids for further needful. Then, after the lunch the participants were dispersed.