Saturday, February 6, 2010

Udupi's own plight in saving its Brinjal

By Rajat R., Mangalore [ Published Date: February 6, 2010 ]

  • Fabled Matti Gulla comes under focus
This hallowed town of legendary proportions is now fighting its own battle over BT Brinjal. It is trying to save a special type of brinjal that has a heritage of 500 years. Known as Matti Gulla, it is a special vegetable endemic only to a place called Mattu near Malpe on Udyavar-Malpe road near Udupi. A small community of farmers who grow this unique type of Brinjal are now fighting against the bio-contamination of Matti Gulla.

Two eminent scientists Ramesh Bhat and M.N. Madhyastha have taken up the scientific study of this vegetable in an exclusive paper produced for this purpose have guided the farmers to save their crop. The paper that has been exclusively given to brings out different views about the Matti Gulla.
In a bid to get global patent, the Horticulture Department had also come forward to study this famous Udupi Brinjal. A team led by Additional Director of the Department, Dr Ramakrishnappa, had visited Mattu Area, where this special variety Brinjal was cultivated. The team is making a detailed study of this variety by collecting all available data.
Brinjal has been used as a vegetable in India, since time immemorial. The classic Ramayana contains reference to Brinjal. Early Buddhist and Jain works, Sutras like Uttaradhyana Sutra, Prajapana Sutra and Jatakas record Brinjal (Om Prakash 1961) Indian subcontinent (Indo- Burma region, probably Assam) is considered as the Centre of origin of Brinjal (Paroda and Aurora, 1999). The Sanskrit name Varthaku, Vrutanka, Vaantaki, Vantika or Vatinganah is responsible for a number of names in various languages such as Badhinjan in Persian and al-badinjan in Arabic. Arabs have carried the brinjal to Europe around 16th century. The Catalan nomenclature of albergia is responsible for the French and British name aubergine. In the North American continent it is known as egg plant since the fruit of some early varieties were all white and looked like hen's eggs. The Kannada name "Badane" appears to be closer to Persian Badinjan rather than to Sanskrit name Vatinganh. The Tulu/Kannada name Gulla seems to have evolved independently.


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