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KAU comes up with 23 high-yielding crops (Source: The Hindu 22-07-2017)

                               5 varieties of rice and nutmeg, 3 of ginger and cardamom

 

 

                  Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has introduced 23 high-yielding new crop varieties. The new list includes five varieties of rice and nutmeg, three varieties of ginger and cardamom and one each of plumbago, salad cucumber, culinary melon, cowpea, pepper, garcinia, and tapioca. KAU Vice Chancellor P. Rajendran said a university-level evaluation committee had recommended these varieties after assessing their performances on experimental plots and farmers’ fields. The new varieties will be officially released after approval from the State Variety Release Committee headed by the Agricultural Production Commissioner, according to Director of Research P. Indiradevi. Of the five rice varieties, VTL 10 is a saline-tolerant variety for high saline coastal ecosystems. While Manuratna, a short-duration variety, is meant for wetlands, Suvarna is a semi-tall short-duration variety resistant to gall midge. Two varieties developed at the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Pattambi, are of long duration and suited for rabi season. Three ginger varieties have been developed at the College of Horticulture, Vellanikkara. Chandraka has high gingenol content and is suitable for fresh and dried use. Ardraka is less fibrous and Chithraka has higher starch content. The plumbago variety Swathi has higher root yield than all released varieties.

                  KPCH-1, the F1 hybrid of seedless salad cucumber variety developed at Vellanikkara, offers a cheaper alternative to imported varieties. It is resistant to mildew syndrome and offers appreciable productivity in polyhouse cultivation. The culinary melon Vellayani Vishal has medium-sized and green-striped creamy white fruits. The cowpea variety Manjari is tolerant to mosaic virus and suitable for pure as well as inter-cropping. The five improved varieties of nutmeg were identified from farmers’ fields. While four of them have rounded fruits, one has oval shaped fruits.

 

Pepper variant

 

           The Panniyur 9 variety of black pepper has been developed at the Pepper Research Station, Panniyur. With long spikes, medium berries and drought resistance, it is suitable for hilly tracts. Nithya, the garcinia variety from RARS, Kumarakom, has oblong yellow fruits and the yield is more than 10 kg a tree. The three cardamom varieties, PV-1. PV-2 and PV-3, developed at the Cardamom Research Station, Pampadumpara, offers better yield. The tapioca variety Uthama, ideal for flood-prone areas, is high-yielding.