High yield Heera

A scientist in Nagpur, A S Khalatkar, has claimed to have developed a new variety of mustard - Hoora - that will yield oil cheaply. The improved variety is a low-input crop requiring little iffigation and fertiliser and no weeding. It has a high output of 4 quintals to 4.8 quintals per hectare as against 2 quintals to 2.8 quintals of the common Pose Bold variety. The Heera meal (deoiled cake) has 40 per cent protein and a high fibre content.

The edible oil obtained from Heera meets all the standards specified by the US Federal Drug Administration, according to Khalatkar, who belongs to the botany department of Nagpur University.

The normal mustard oil produced in north India is brownish in colour and highly pungent. The cost of making it yellow and edible is high. Besides, nearly a fourth of the mustard produced in the country is lost every year because the crop is highly susceptible to the "white rust" disease, says Khalatkar.