Scientists of Hajee Danesh Science and Technology University [HSTU] of Dinajpur developed two new varieties of sweet pumpkins after a 3-year long of research program. The new verities have been named “Hajee” and “Danesh”, after the name of the university honoring Hajee Mohammad Danesh.
The significant characteristics of these two varieties are good yield, greater sweetness, and carotene with less fiber in comparison to the variety of pumpkins available in the country. Besides, there is no complaint of insect infiltration. HSTU developed these varieties of pumpkin for the first time since the university's inception in 2002, the scientists said. University officials said that the scientists of Genetics and Plant Breeding Department of Hajee Danesh Science and Technology University led by professor Dr. Md. Hasanuzzaman, Chairman of the department started the research in June 2011 to develop two new varieties of pumpkins. Lal Teer Seed Ltd, a Seed company of Bangladesh provided financial assistance to the research, the field test for which began in early 2013. The seeds were officially launched at a ceremony at HSTU campus on last week.
During a field test, it was found that the existing varieties yield around 7 to 9 tons of pumpkin per hectare. On the other hand, the new varieties yield much more: 12 to 14 tons of pumpkin of Hajee variety and 16 to 17 tons of pumpkin of Danesh variety per hectare. The pumpkins weigh around 3.5kg to 4kg [Hajee] and 6kg to 8kg [Danesh], added the scientists.
Mostaque Ahmed, farmer of Ghugudanga village under Dinajpur Sadar upazila farmed Hajee and Danesh varieties on his 10 decimal of land and got greater yield than usual. He also experienced fewer pest attacks. Md. Rurul Amin, Vice Chancellor of Hajee Danesh Science and Technology University of Dinajpur said that the innovation of Hajee and Danesh was a landmark of the teachers and students of the university as well for the people of the country and the agriculture sector. “Such innovative varieties would be able to better meet the nutrition needs of low income people,” he added, thanking the scientists behind the innovation.
Talking to the Daily Star, Professor Dr. Md. Hasanuzzaman, Chairman of Genetics and Plant Breeding Department of Hajee Danesh Sience and Technology University said that these new varieties of pumpkins can be farmed all over the country. 'The new varieties have less fiber, which also give a better taste to its consumers' he added.