Safflower R&D at NARI
Nari’s ongoing work with safflower has led to the development of various safflower varieties and hybrids for both high oil and petal yields. Petals are obtained from capitulum after the seed is mature. They are usually harvested just before seed-harvest. Thus they are naturally dried.
Objectives of Safflower program at NARI:
– To develop hybrids and varieties that produce high seed and oil yields.
– To develop a whole plant utilization approach
– To develop wilt resistant varieties and hybrids
– To identify and develop cytoplasmic-genetic male sterility system
– To promote safflower petals as a natural food coloring agent and as a herbal health tea
– To use the safflower residue as fuel in NARI biomass gasifier
Major accomplishments of NARI program:
– Release of variety NRS-209 ( Nira) for limited irrigation conditions of Maharashtra.
– Development of nonspiny variety NARI-6 which has been released nationally in February 2001.Release of NARI-NH-1(a non-spiny hybrid) in August 2002.
– Development of non-spiny safflower varieties and hybrids for both seed and petals. In national trials they have performed better than the checks.
– Development of 10 spiny and 3 non-spiny genetic male sterile lines.
– Development of battery and petrol powered petal collectors. They are excellent for collecting petals from spiny varieties.
– Popularization of safflower petals as herbal tea. We were the first organization in India to start test marketing of this tea. Safflower tea is now accepted by large number of people all over India. Our work is being replicated by various agricultural universities all over India and they are also trying to popularize it.