Kerala farm varsity sets aside ₹40 crore for research

Projects for conservation of gene bank of crops, new directorate to improve seed production

July 10, 2021 11:35 pm | Updated 11:36 pm IST - Thrissur

The general council of the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has approved an annual budget of ₹695.24 crore for the year 2021-22. Expecting an annual revenue of ₹456.96 crore, the budget will be a ₹238.28-crore deficit budget.

The budget has allotted ₹40 crore for research. A directorate will be established for improved production of seeds and planting materials and distribution to farmers.

Breeding technology will be developed to equip vegetable crops overcome adverse conditions.

Research projects are envisaged for collection and conservation of gene bank of various crops.

Projects to identify and conserve jackfruit ecotypes suitable for homestead farming in Kerala are included in the budget.

Research on nano preparation from sweet flag ( Vayampu) for controlling tea mosquitoes in cashew, plant health tonics to accelerate growth of vegetables will be enhanced.

Experiments for controlling mealy bugs seen on the roots of pepper using endophytes will be included in plant protection research.

Pesticide capsules

Developing capsules of biological pesticides like Trichoderma and Pseudomonas for plant diseases will be focussed on.

There will be more research on recent agricultural techniques like protected cultivation, precision farming, and hydroponics. Design and development of nutrient film technology suitable for hydroponics cultivation of vegetables has been included in this.

To reduce post-harvest loss of fruits, and to improve farmers’ income, the university proposes to establish a winery for brewing low alcohol beverages from fruits and developing associated research and technology development. The mapping of the value chain of mangoes in Muthalamada, Palakkad, is proposed to be done in a comprehensive manner. The budget also envisages surveillance of Chaliyar river using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology and establishing 200- meter buffer zones on the two banks of the river.

Activities of the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) for promoting agripreneurship and farm business school will be expanded. Production of bio-fertilizers and biopesticides will be enhanced.

Mobile apps

Mobile apps will be developed for easy dissemination of information to the public. To promote organic agriculture, a lead centre has been planned.

An amount of ₹9.5 crore is earmarked for student ready programme, research grants for PG, PhD work, and strengthening the Directorate of Education and library.

Funds for infra

Modernisation of the university data centre, expansion of online evaluation system and online fee collection system are envisaged. The budget sets aside ₹44 lakh for student welfare and ₹10 crore for infrastructure development.

Revenue Minister K. Rajan presented the budget. R Chandrababu, Vice Chancellor of KAU, presided over the online meeting on Friday.

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