Kochi

Mobile app to be developed for cardamom growers

Special Correspondent KOCHI 25 July 2021 18:28 IST
Updated: 25 July 2021 18:28 IST

It will enable them to follow site-specific and need-based fertilizer recommendations

The Spices Board and Rubber Board, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Digital University of Kerala have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to generate spatial models of soil nutrients in cardamom tracts and develop an Android-based mobile application for cardamom growers to follow site-specific and need-based fertilizer recommendations.

The MoU was signed at the Rubber Research Institute in Kottayam on Friday, said a communication from the Rubber Board.

Site-specific nutrient management and judicious use of fertilizers are important for economic and environmental reasons. The Indian Cardamom Research Institute, Myladumpara, the research wing of the Spices Board, initiated the collaborative project with the Rubber Research Institute of India, Rubber Board, and the Geospatial Analytics Division of the Digital University (formerly IIITM-K). The project will document major, secondary and micronutrient status of cardamom growing areas and apply geo-statistical techniques to generate spatial models of soil nutrients and disseminate information to farmers through the app.

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Spices Board Secretary D. Sathiyan said the aim was to develop an equivalent of RubSIS app launched by the Rubber Board to help farmers access data on location-specific soil nutrient status and fertilizer recommendations online.

The Spices Board is one of the five commodity boards under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is responsible for the export promotion of 52 scheduled spices and development of small and large cardamom.

Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu are the major producers of small cardamom. According to Spices Board figures from an advanced estimate for 2020-21, around 69,000 hectares are under the crop in the country with a production of 22,500 tonnes.

Meanwhile, cardamom production in Kerala is likely to see a fall this year with farming operations witnessing disruption from shortage of labour and heavy rain. The State has around 50,000 hectares under the crop. The annual average production is nearly 20,000 tonnes. There are around 35,000 families accounting for over 60% of cardamom production.

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