Research centre on wetland farming system mooted at KAU

The Centre of Excellence for Research on Wetland Farming Systems proposed to be set up at Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) is intended to give a boost to rice farming in the granaries of the State.

It is one of the eight centres of excellence mooted at a brainstorming session recently convened by the Minister for Agriculture.

The KAU Centre of Excellence will have its main unit at the Regional Agricultural Research Station, Kumarakom. Its sub-units will function at the Rice Research Station , Vyttila (coastal farming systems), and the Agricultural Research Station, Mannuthy.

“The brainstorming session was effective. The Agriculture Minister, Agricultural Production Commissioner, and Agriculture Secretary discussed with KAU scientists different aspects of farming. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of each research station was conducted,” KAU Vice-Chancellor P. Rajendran said.

Apart from that for wetland ecosystems and farm mechanisation, centres of excellence are being planned for the fields of biotechnology and secondary agriculture (at Vellayani, with a sub-centre at Vellanikkara); rice research and development (Pattambi); research on spices, cool season vegetables and subtropical fruits (Ambalavayal); protected cultivation and precision farming (Vellanikkara); production of seeds and planting material (Vellanikkara and Anakkayam); and research on biofertilizers and bio-control agents (Vellayani and Vellanikkara).

“The university is aware of the need for an active interface with other research and development institutions in the field of agriculture and allied branches. We have also decided that research and production activities should be delinked. A review of the progress attained in the programmes mooted in the brainstorming session will be held after three months,” he said.