Spend time in farms, scientists told

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Director General Dr Aiyyappan has urged the agriculture scientists to spend time in the farmlands and with the farmers to understand the techniques which are still unexplored but are practiced in the farmlands.

“The farmlands here in our country are store house of technologies and varieties,” opined the Director General addressing the valedictory speech on the occasion of silver jubilee celebration of Directorate of Cashew Research, Puttur.

Citing example of a farmer who had successfully grown 12 quintal of pigeon peas per hectare using local technologies and varieties, he said that the farmers can use the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act (PPVFR) to register such local variety in their names and reap benefits.

“Farmers having excellent traditional and practical knowledge of farming should be honored as ‘Visiting Professors’ and the agriculture universities and research centers must make use of their knowledge,” he opined.

Speaking on cashew cultivation, he said that there is a need to concentrate studies on high density planting system and suitable dwarf varieties to increase cashew productivity.

“Possibilities of using cashew trees as ‘live fence,’ eco-friendly tree and ‘wind breakers’ must be looked at. Attempt also can be made to develop networking with private processing industries to come out with useful technologies,” he said adding that India should achieve the target of 10 lakh ton raw nut production by the year 2017.

He expressed happiness over present developments at the Directorate. Various decisions and suggestion emerged in different  sessions for the development of cashew  were briefed in the function.

 Dr H P Singh, Deputy Director General (Horticulture), ICAR, briefed about the present status of cashew research and future plans.

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