Thornless Cactus

Thornless Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) commonly known as fodder cactus or prickly pear can be use both as vegetable and valuable forage resources in arid/semi-arid areas. Fodder cactus is a rich source of vitamin A, water soluble carbohydrates and water.

NDDB has conducted field demonstration of improved cultivars of thornless cactus (clone no. 1270, 1271 and Texas) procured from CAZRI Jodhpur and CSSRI, Karnal for propagating cultivation in arid & semi-arid area to increase the fodder availability.

Collaborative project on “Development of micro-propagation technology (tissue culture) in fodder cactus (Opuntia ficus indica)” with Anand Agricultural University (AAU), Anand was taken up and completed. Use of modern plant tissue culture methods for rapidly multiplying thornless cactus cladodes to produce large numbers of progeny plants has helped to overcome the problem of planting material. Saplings raised through tissue culture tested in FDU & farmer’s field were given to various milk unions, training centres and other organisations for cultivation and popularisation.

Presently NDDB is maintaining and evaluating 13 fodder cactus germplasm on the basis of fodder yield.