The Ludhiana-based Punjab Agricultural University has developed a unique pumpkin variety that does not have a hard seed coat. “Plants of cucurbit family have a thick and leathery seed coat. Decorticated seeds of muskmelon, watermelon, longmelon and cucumber are commonly used for confectionery and home preparations in India. We have now developed a unique pumpkin variety that does not have the hard seed coat and can be used as it is. The Research Evaluation Committee and the State Varietal Approval Committee has approved this variety for cultivation in Punjab,” said Ajmer Singh Dhatt, Head of Department of Vegetable Science at PAU. Mr. Dhatt said it is the first variety of ‘soft’ seeded pumpkin in India and its cultivation at commercial level will meet the domestic requirement of snack seed and bakery industry as well as offer opportunities for exports. “Raw or roasted pumpkin seeds are used as snack food in many parts of the world. It is also used for cooking, baking, nutrient supplement and functional agent. Oil of pumpkin seeds is used in cooking and salad dressing, particularly in Europe and America,” he said, adding that export possibilities of this seed could help farmers in boosting their income.