Arecanut Research Centre comes up with recommendation on ideal depth for areca planting

The centre suggests planting the seedlings at 45 cm depth for good yield, after a 16-year research

Updated - September 14, 2023 10:51 pm IST

Published - September 14, 2023 08:59 pm IST - Shivamogga

Arecanut Research Centre in Shivamogga conducted a research to find out ideal planting depth for better yield.

Arecanut Research Centre in Shivamogga conducted a research to find out ideal planting depth for better yield. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Following research spanning over 16 years, the Arecanut Research Centre of Keladi Shivappa Nayaka University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences in Shivamogga, has come up with a recommendation on planting depth to get a greater yield.

The researchers found out that seedlings planted in pits (60 cm³) at 45 cm depth gave more fresh nuts than those planted at 60 cm depth (75 cm³) and 75 cm depth (90 cm³). 

Researchers of Arecanut Research Centre in Shivamogga found out that seedlings planted in pits (60 cm³) at 45 cm depth gave more fresh nuts than those planted at 60 cm depth (75 cm³) and 75 cm depth (90 cm³). 

Researchers of Arecanut Research Centre in Shivamogga found out that seedlings planted in pits (60 cm³) at 45 cm depth gave more fresh nuts than those planted at 60 cm depth (75 cm³) and 75 cm depth (90 cm³).  | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Taken up in 2005

“The research centre took on this study in 2005, as it was necessary to come out with a recommendation for the benefit of areca growers. As it is a perennial crop, the research takes a long time. We cannot arrive at any conclusion without waiting for the results,” said Nagarajappa Adivappar, principal investigator of the centre. His predecessors started the project when the centre was functioning under UAHS in Bengaluru. Later, the centre came under the KSNUA&HS in Shivamogga, when it was established in 2013. 

For the research, planting was done in 2005-06 at the centre in Shivamogga. The research scholars started recording the yield data only in 2015-16. “We came to this conclusion after analysing the yield between 2016 and 2021,” he said. As part of the research, the saplings were planted in three different pits measuring 60cm³, 75 cm³ and 90 cm³ with depths of 45 cm, 60 cm and 75 cm respectively. The planting was done in accordance with traditional practices prevalent in the areca-growing areas spread over Shivamogga and adjoining districts.

Yield per year

The researchers found a yield of 15.54 kg of fresh nuts per palm per year in the seedlings that were planted in pits 45 cm deep. The yield was 12.51 kg/palm/year in pits 60 cm deep, and it was 10.79 kg/palm/year in seedlings planted 75 cm deep. “The benefit-cost ratio of 3.75 was measured in palms that were planted at 45 cm depth. Hence, the study concluded that planting arecanut seedlings in 60 cm³ at 45 cm depth is ideal for higher yield,” the principal investigator said. He was assisted in the project by Sudeep H.P., Swathi H.C. and Thippesha D.

The centre has been spreading awareness among the areca growers based on the outcome of the research. Hundreds of growers consult the scientists for suggestions whenever they notice a disease in the garden or a decrease in yield. Areca nut is a major plantation crop spread over 1.2 lakh ha in Shivamogga district alone. Nearly 79% of the country’s total areca production comes from Karnataka. “We are recommending the growers to go for intercrop or mixed crop in areca gardens. Many farmers have taken up cultivating banana, pepper, cocoa among others. This helps them financially, besides avoiding the spread of diseases,” he added.

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