Patanjali develops ‘miracle’ wheat seed, chilli; PM to inaugurate unit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Uttarakhand Wednesday where he would inaugurate the research centre of yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurveda, which claims to have developed a new variety of wheat seed and chilli with record high yield.
The Haridwar-based Ayurveda firm, which is looking to shore up its image after a couple of its products, including amla juice, failed to clear a laboratory test, has come up with a sprawling 10-acre research centre in Haridwar.
The yoga guru has claimed that researchers have developed a new variety of wheat seed that can fetch up to 28 quintals in one acre of land and also a home-grown chilly that can fetch up to 47 quintals in an acre.
“Patanjali agro scientists have developed advanced variety of high yielding wheat grain (named Patanjali Chamatkar) without using chemicals (sic),” Ramdev tweeted.
“Patanjali agro scientists have proved time and again that, high yielding and high quality produce can be obtained without chemicals (sic)” he added.
WH 1105, a variety developed by Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar, several years ago also claims to yield 28 quintals per acre.
The Goa-based ICAR-Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute puts yield of fresh green chilli at 10-15 tonnes per hectare. One hectare is approximately 2.5 acres.
Patanjali Chamatkar or miracle got a much-needed fillip from Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh who said it was an excellent use of ‘swadeshi’.
Patanjali that started in 2006 to sell traditional Ayurvedic potions has expanded into personal care, home products, cosmetic creams, noodles, and more in last few years. It sells everything from detergent to cornflakes and hair oil under its own name.
A person privy to the developments in the firm said Ramdev intends to focus on two core areas – Ayurveda and agro business. Ramdev is focusing on strengthening the research wing of the company in a bid to revamp its brand image, which has taken a beating in the last one year.
Many of its products have been getting “adverse feedback” from consumers and retailers, prompting the company to form two internal committees earlier this year to address the problem. The company also faced the ire of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for ‘misbranding’.
Last month, Canteen Stores Department (CSD), the retailing entity selling consumer goods to the armed forces, suspended the sale of a batch of Patanjali’s amla juice after it failed” the test carried out at West Bengal Public Health Laboratory in Kolkata. Defence ministry sources said a show cause notice has been served on the company.
The Ayurveda firm, however, blamed a department of the Uttarakhand government for the fiasco.