A new whole pod edible dual purpose Pea variety Arka Apoorva Garden pea (Pisum sativum L. var. hortense) also called sweet pea is a choice vegetable grown for its shelled green seeds rich in protein (7.2 %). In India, it is grown in an area of 0.35 million ha. with the production of 2.91 million metric tonnes and productivity is 8.31 t/ha.
In garden peas, though whole mature fresh pods are purchased by the consumer, the fibrous pod walls are discarded and only the shelled fresh the fresh green seeds are consumed. Thus, only 55 to 60 % being the fresh seeds are used as vegetable, while around 40 to 45% goes as waste in the form of pod walls. This problem wastage is overcome in whole pod edible peas which are grouped under var. macrocarpon. In the whole pod edible peas, entire pods are consumed since the pod walls are devoid of fibrous parchment layer.
The pods of whole pod peas can be consumed at any point of time during development either at the initial stage when seeds just begin to appear and the pods are almost flat or in the half maturity stage or even at full maturity stage. Mature pods are tender, succulent, sweet with crisp texture. The pods are either eaten as fresh salad or after light cooking or frying. The pods are rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. Whole pod edible peas are popular in USA, European countries, China, Japan and in South East Asian countries. In India, in the recent years it is becoming popular and there is a tremendous scope for its spread particularly in the niche and up market in the urban areas and even has great potential as export and processed vegetable. In this direction, at IIHR, Arka Sampoorna a whole pod edible pea was developed and released in the year 2001 with pod yield potential of 8 t/ha in 90 days and resistant to powdery mildew and rust.
A new improved whole pod edible pea namely Arka Apoorva was released at IIHR in March 2013 at the Institute level. It was developed by crossing a whole pod edible germplasm accession Oregon sugar pod with IIHR 18 a breeding line with sweet dark green pods and bold seeds. IIHR 18 has pod yield of 12 t/ha with dark green, bold and sweet seeds. Also it is resistant to powdery mildew and rust. Oregon sugar pod has whole pod edible pods. However, the pods and seeds are light green and medium sweet.
The F1 seeds were further advanced through pedigree method of breeding for high yield, whole pod edible pea with dark green, bold, sweet, crisp seeds. In the F6 generation, an advanced breeding line IIHR 2-2 now named as Arka Apoorva was selected with above mentioned traits.
Arka Apoorva is an improvement over Arka Sampoorna. Arka Apoorva is a midseason pea line with pod yield potential of 10 to 11 t/ha in 90 days. It gives about 20 % higher pod yield than Arka Sampoorna. The pods are of dual purpose which means the whole fresh pod can be used either as salad or in cooking and also the fresh shelled peas can be used as in case of conventional green peas. The pods are 9 cm long and broad (2 cm) and the seeds are bold, dark green sweet and the whole pods are crisp. It is also moderately resistant to powdery mildew and resistant to rust.
Courtesy : IIHR