KERALA

KAU recommends 70 agriculture packages

TRADITIONAL START: Kerala Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor K.R. Viswambharan inaugurating a workshop to finalise packages of farm practices at Vellanikkara, near Thrissur, on Wednesday.

TRADITIONAL START: Kerala Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor K.R. Viswambharan inaugurating a workshop to finalise packages of farm practices at Vellanikkara, near Thrissur, on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: By special arrangement

Staff Reporter

Plans for plant protection, organic farming presented

Thrissur: Kerala Agricultural University has recommended 70 agriculture packages that may be used by farmers. The packages were finalised at a workshop held here on Wednesday in which scientists with KAU and the Indian Council for Agricultural Research, officials with the Department of Agriculture, Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council, State Horticulture Mission and farmers took part.

KAU Vice-Chancellor K.R. Viswambharan inaugurated the workshop.

Scientists presented packages for nutritional management, plant protection, inter-cropping green houses, organic farming practices, rice-based cropping systems, coconut, areca nut, sugarcane, cashew, spices, fruits, vegetables, mushroom, flowers and medicinal plants.

Rice

A technical session on rice and rice-based cropping system, chaired by K. Karunakaran, former Director of Research, KAU, and C.C. Abraham, former Dean of the agriculture faculty, recommended standardisation of leaf colour chart for assessing soil fertility status; alternative farm yard manure; organic production of rice in pokkali and other rice producing tracts in Kerala; optimal dosage of chemical fertilizers; chemical alternatives for weed management; crop protection practices; and integrated pest and disease management practices.

Cropping practices in sugarcane, bio-fertilizers and new fertilizers for coconut and areca nut cultivation were discussed at a session chaired by D. Alexander, Director of Research with KAU.

A discussion on cashew and spices, chaired by E.V. Nybe and Jacob John, focussed on economic methods of processing; formulation of by-products; vegetative propagation; eco-friendly plant protection practices; and methods for efficient vegetative propagation and integrated nutrient and plant protection.

A session on fruits, vegetables, mushroom, flowers and medicinal plants, chaired by M. Aravindakshan, former Director of Research, recommended efficient nutrient management methods such as bunch sprays.

Plant protection in tubers, nutrient management, vegetative propagation and organic farming techniques for tubers were discussed at a session on pulses, oil seeds and tuber crops, chaired by Achamma Oommen and Swarup John.

A package for scientific cultivation of Brahmi was presented. A garden transplantor, designed by KAU, was demonstrated.

New crop varieties

The workshop also discussed 35 new crop varieties to be released by KAU and ICAR. They comprise eight varieties of rice; two each of grain cowpea, banana and ginger; one each of chilli, drumstick, banana and elephant foot yam; two of cashew; four of pepper; two of turmeric; two of cardamom; and seven of coconut.

M.K. Sheela, Director of Extension, KAU; R.V. Nair, Head, Division of Crop Improvement, Central Plantation Crops Research Institute; Mercy Thomas, Deputy Director of Agriculture; C.B. Manomohan; and S. Estellitta, convenor of the workshop, were present.

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