First-batch students of horticulture college and research institute raised bottle gourd on 15 cents, ash gourd on 10 cents; yield was about 3 tonnes

In their maiden attempt, the first-batch students of Tamil Nadu Agriculture University Horticulture College and Research Institute for Women at Navalur Kuttapattu have registered a high yield in bottle gourd and ash gourd. They had all raised the 70-day crops using quality seeds as part of application of their academic syllabus to the fields.

Crop cultivation techniques, protection from pests, and proper irrigation management were some of the important topics they analysed in the fields every day.

While bottle gourd was raised on 15 cents, ash gourd was cultivated on 10 cents. The yield was about three tonnes. It would be 20 to 25 tonnes an acre.

“The students have registered a bumper harvest, testifying to their interest in practical activities as most of them hail from agriculturists’ families” T. N. Balamohan, special officer of the institute told the media shortly after assessing the harvest in the fields on Friday.

He said that the students understand the nuances of cultivation, right from selection of seeds to application of fertilizer and chemicals.

The students have also raised brinjal through transplant technique which will be harvested in course of time.

They have also raised marigold and coriander.

Research projects

Mr. Balamohan said that the institute would take up two research projects in course of time.

The first project would be on ultra high density in guava, which aims at increasing the number of guava trees an acre.

“Presently, farmers raise 200 trees an acre and the ultra high density research aims at increasing it to 700 an acre,” he said.

The second project pertains to screening of vegetables and flowers in salt-affected soils. “We have already raised, on a trial basis, jasmine, marigold and meerium to start with,” he said.

The institute is located in Manikandam block which accounts for the maximum salt-affected soil in the State.

About 50,000 hectares in the block is alkaline.