Selection of Turnip Variety for Nutrition Security in Nepal  

Dhruba Raj Bhattarai1 , Navin Gopal Pardhan1 , Basanta Chalise2 , Pandey Y. R.3 , Giri Dhari Subedi1
1. Horticulture Research Division, Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Lalitpur, Nepal
2. Agriculture Research Station, Dailekh, Nepal
3. Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC)
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Horticulture, 2015, Vol. 5, No. 8   doi: 10.5376/ijh.2015.05.0008
Received: 01 Apr., 2015    Accepted: 10 Jun., 2015    Published: 19 Jun., 2015
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Dhruba Raj Bhattarai, Navin Gopal Pardhan, Basanta Chalise,  Pandey Y.R. and Giri Dhari Subedi, 2015, Selection of Turnip Variety for Nutrition Security in Nepal, International Journal of Horticulture, 5(8) 1-5 (doi: 10.5376/ijh.2015.05.0008)


A series of genotype selection and performance evaluation experiments on turnip were conducted at Horticulture Research Division (HRD), Khumaltar, Agriculture Research Station (ARS) Dailekh, Agriculture Research Station (ARS) Pakhribas and farmers’ fields between 2010 and 2014 with an aim to identify suitable variety for mid-hills of Nepal. The local genotype from Kathmandu Valley was used as the base material for the selection of genotype HRDTUR001. The performance of selected genotype was evaluated for size, colour, taste, yield and other characters using Purple Top a released variety as the standard check. The on station results revealed that genotype HRDTUR001 was found promising because of attractive root colour, excellent root size (224.45g) and better taste for vegetable purpose. Based on the biological and socio-economic feedback received from the on farm trials genotype HRDTUR001 has been recommended to release as a variety for cultivation in the mid hills of Nepal.

Genotype; Mass selection; Consumers’ acceptability; Root yield

Turnip (Brassica rapa L., 2n = 2x = 20) belongs to Curciferae family and is an important root vegetable crop of winter season. There is no definite region of the origin of turnip. Some regard central and western China, while others assign it to middle Asia (Nath and Singh, 1987 and Saini, 1996). A few people even regard the Mediterranean region as the origin of turnip (Chauhan, 1996). The cultivation of turnip in Nepal is a smaller amount; however, it is very popular in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts (Bhattarai and Pradhan, 2014). It is cultivated for its roots and green leaves; it is used as salad, cooked vegetable and pickled. The young leaves, which content high amount of vitamin C, iron and vitamin A are eaten as green vegetable. Furthermore, turnip leaves and roots are excellent source of roughages, vitamins and minerals required for maintaining perfect health. This is not only benefit in protecting against degenerative diseases but also can play a key role in neutralizing the acids produced during digestion of proteinous and fatty acids and also provides valuable roughages which promote and help in preventing constipation and cancer. However, overcooking will result in unutilization of antioxidants and a less nutritive value. Thus turnip leaves and roots should be properly handled before consuming raw or in cooked form. Cooking should be done in appropriate media to have good nutrition for maintaining good health of the people in the country.

The economy of hill farmers is mainly based on agriculture and majority of the rural population depends on farming for their livelihood. The turnips produced in the hills are tasty, attractive and of better quality which are sold at a higher rate (HRD, 2006 and HRD, 2013). The area/space in between fruit plant rows in young orchards of apple, peach, plum and citrus can be used for growing turnip and can earn income till the orchards start bearing fruits. Turnip is grown very fast and is available to the consumers. Production and consumption of turnip is directly related to the improvement of socio-economic status of the hill people (CBS. 2010).
Purple Top is the only one variety released in Nepal. But it could not gain popularity among the consumers because of various reasons including root colour and taste. Therefore, to identify suitable turnip variety for Nepali consumers, Horticulture Research Division has been initiated this varietal improvement work in Nepal.
1 Materials and methods
To identify suitable turnip variety for Nepali consumers, Horticulture Research Division was conducted turnip varietal improvement work. The local turnip genotype from Kathmandu valley was used as the base material to select red root adopting positive mass selection approach. It was done in various steps, viz. selection of desirable plants from base population and mixing their seed to raise next generation, evaluation in research station and evaluation in farmers field. The procedure of genotype selection and evaluation is given below:
1.1 Genotype selection
An old local genotype of turnip from Kathmandu valley was used as base population which was grown in a large plot. The 200 plants were selected on the basis of phenotypic performance for characters like size, colour and yield. The selected plants were used for seed production and their seed were mixed together to grow next generation. This process was repeated 3 years (2010 to 2012) to select genotype HRDTUR001.
1.2 Genotype evaluation
The performance of selected genotype was evaluated in 2013 and 2014 at different locations; Lalitpur, Kavre, Dailekh and Pakhribas. The experiment was laid out in randomize complete block design (RCBD) with five replications in all the years and locations. The performance was evaluated for colour, size, taste, yield and other characters using Purple Top as standard check. Plot size was 1.8 m2 with spacing of 15 X 10 cm and seed was sown on 3rd week of September. Manure and fertilizers were applied at the rate of 10 t/ha FYM and NPK 80:120:60 kg/ha. Cultural practices were carried out as standard of the crop.
1.3 Consumers’ acceptability analysis
An evaluation panel on the basis of size, shape, colour and taste measured consumer acceptability by using the 1-9 hedonic scale (Thompson, 1996) in which 1 stands for inferiority and 9 for superiority. Based on the cumulative records of all characters consumers’ acceptability was determined.
2 Results and Discussion
2.1 Characteristics of selected genotype
After series of selection a genotype HRDCAU001 have good size (225g) with better taste and excellent colour was selected from the local turnip available in Kathmandu valley. Plant structure of this genotype is upright with slightly cut leaves. Roots are medium in size, nearly flattened globe shape, smooth with red skin. Flash is white, firm crispy and mildly sweet flavoured. It is an early maturing (55-60 days). Yield is 25-30 t/ha (Table 1).

Table 1 Major characters of selected genotype HRDTUR001 at HRD, Khumaltar (2010-2012)

Nutrient analysis
Turnip is finest sources of essential vitamins, minearls and anti-oxidants that can offer protection from vitamin A deficiency, osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and possibly from colon cancers. This genotype is notably good in Carotene, vitamin-C and Iron. (Table 2).

Table 2 Nutrient per 100 grams red root and green leaves of turnip (DFTQC, 2012)

2.3 Performance evaluation trial at HRD, Khumaltar
Root yield is the major determinant variable for selecting a turnip variety for its commercialization and income generation capability. In Horticulture Research Division Khumaltar, the genotype on root yield was significant (Table 3). HRDTUR001 produced the highest marketable root yield (29.91t/ha in 2013 and 30.06 t/ha in 2014. Similarly, Purple Top produced 24.93t/ha in 2013 and 28.70 t/ha in 2014. The lowest yield 9.62 t/ha in 2013 and 20.20 t/ha in 2014 associated with HRDTUR003. The result also showed significant variation among the genotypes in quality. HRDTUR001 had the highest degree of acceptability (8.66 in Khumaltar and 8.28 in Dailekh) followed by HRDTUR003 and purple top. The superiority associated to HRDTUR001 for excellent colour, size and good taste of root.

Table 3 Performance of turnip genotypes in CVT at HRD, Khumaltar (2013 -2014)

2.4 Performance evaluation trial at ARS
The trials in mid-hills Dailekh showed that the yield potential of HRDTUR001 was 31.54 in 2012. In 2013 the yield was 31.08 t/ha. Compare to control variety Purple top, the yield potential of HRDTUR001 was better (Table 4). Similarly, highest degree of consumer acceptability was also associated with the same genotype.

Table 4 Performance of turnip genotypes in CVT at ARS Dailekh (2013-2014)

2.5 Farmers Field Trial (FFT) at Kavre, Dailekh and Pakhribas
The promising genotype HRDTUR001 was tested in farmer’s field during 2013 and 2014 in Nala, Kavre, Kalbhairab–1, Dailekh and Pakhribas. On an average, HRDTUR001 was ready to first harvest at 45 days after transplanting. The productivity of HRDTUR001 was higher than Purple Top at all sites. The highest edible root of HRDTUR001 was recorded at Dailekh (30.08t/ha) followed by Pakhribas (28.05 t/ha) and Kavre 26.11 t/ha (Table 5). Farmers from all the sites (Kavre, Dailekh and Pakhribas) preferred HRDTUR001 for its attractive colour, marketable size and better taste.

Table 5 Performance of turnip genotypes tested at farmer’s field (2013-2014)

2.6 Pest and
So far data received from different station and farmers' field, genotype HRDTUR001 was not suffered from severe attack of any disease and insect because of regular spray of Dithane M-45 and Rogar with good care and management. However, alternaria leaf spot and aphidwere recorded from this genotype (Table 6).

Table 6 Disease and insect scoring of the tested genotypes (1-9 scale)

2.7 Economic analysis
Cost of production was calculated by taking into consideration the expenditure incurred on cost for the field preparation, sowing, fertilizer application, weeding, pesticide application, material cost like seed, pesticides and fertilizers. Experiment was conducted in farmers’ field in Nala, Kavre to know about the economic performance of selected genotype. The Net Income 241,200/- (2680 USD) was computed from HRDTUR001. Detail cost of cultivation and income presented in (Table 7).

Table 7 Summary of cost of production

2.8 Recommended domain
Turnip is best adapted to cool or moderate climates. Mid hills are the main recommended domains for the cultivation of the turnip genotype HRDTUR001. Mid hills regions, where the elevation ranges 1000 to 1500 masl are mainly suitable to grow the turnip genotype HRDTUR001. Turnip can be grown in all kinds of soils but it grows well in loam soil having sufficient humus. The well-drained, sandy loam soil is ideal for its cultivation. The extremely light sandy soil or too heavy soils should be avoided. In such soils either the plant growth is hampered or forked or defective roots are formed which are unfit for market. The pH level should be between 6.0 and 6.8, but the turnips will be able to grow in anything up to level 7.5.Cool and moist climate is most favourable for growing turnip. However, it can also be grown where summers are mild. The roots develop best flavour, texture, and size at a temperature of 10°–15°C. The short day length and cool weather favour proper development of roots. The long day and high temperature induce early bolting even without adequate development of roots. In hot weather, roots become fibrous, tough and more pungent. The Asiatic types can tolerate high temperature, while temperate types are quick-growing and flourish well under cool weather. The areas under FFT were dominated for cultivation of different vegetables like potato, tomato, cauliflower, cabbage, onion and garlic. With the development of new turnip variety which is transplanted in September and harvested by October-November, tomato-turnip-garden pea cropping system will emerge as a most beneficial cropping system particularly for mid hills. Similarly, maize based cropping system (maize-turnip-pea) is also possible in mid hills of Nepal.
We would like to acknowledge all the farmers for their active participation and cooperation during on farm research. All the support staff working at Horticulture Research Division, Khumaltar, Agriculture Research Station, Dailekh and Agriculture Research Station, Pakhribas are also acknowledged for their help during the experiment.
Bhattarai, D.R. and N.G. Pradhan. 2014. Varietal characteristics and production technology of Kathmandu Red turnip. NARC publication serial no. 0069-2013/14. Horticulture Research Division, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Nepal
CBS. 2010. Nepal vegetable crop survey 2009/10 a statistical report. Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), National Planning Commission Secretariat, Government of Nepal
Chauhan, D.V.S. 1996. Vegetable Production in India. Ram Prasad & Sons, Agra, India
DFTQC. 2012. Food composition table for Nepal. National Nutrition Program. Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, Babarmahal, Kathmandu, Nepal
HRD, 2006. Annual Report. Horticulture Research Division, Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Khumaltar, Lalitpur
HRD, 2013. Annual Report. Horticulture Research Division, Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Khumaltar, Lalitpur
MOAD. 2012. Statistical Information on Nepalese Agriculture. Agri-business Promotion and Statistics Division, Ministry of Agricultural Development, Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal
Nath, P.S. and D.P. Singh. 1987. Vegetable for the tropical region. Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India
Saini, G.S. 1996. A text book of vegetable production. Aman publishing house, Meerut, India

Thompson, A.K. 1996. Postharvest Technology of fruits and vegetables. Blackwell Science Ltd. Berlin, Germany

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