Agriculture research centre develops betel leaf seeds

Agriculture research centre develops betel leaf seeds

The Agriculture Research Centre in Hirehalli  has developed seeds of  betel leaf creepers.

In what could be termed as first of its kind in the country, the Research Centre, located on the outskirts of Tumkur, is experimenting with hybrid variety of betel leaves. More than 100 varieties of betel leaves have been developed at the Centre. The benefits of the research are expected to reach farmers soon.

The Union government has released Rs three crore to the Centre for its research project.
Dr L B Naika, the head of the Research Centre and scientist Dr Gadagimutt explained the work taken up by the Centre.

Plants yielding fruits and vegetables require micronutrients in addition to major nutrients. A mixture of micronutrients has been developed to improve the yield of betel leaves, vegetables, plantains, mangoes and lemons. 

The Centre has been providing farmers with fertilisers containing arka microbes, trichoderma fungi and psuedomonas bacteria and bioinsecticides made of honge and neem.

The scientists explained that   while till now attempts were made for improving the yield by increasing soil fertility, the focus has now shifted to providing micronutrients to plants.

Providing nutrients to soil has not been found to be effective since a major portion of nutrients so supplied go to earth rather than plants. Instead, better results could be obtained if the nutrients are sprayed on plants. More research needs to be done on providing nutrients to the leaves of plants.

“The focus is now on this new concept. Research is being concentrated on providing nutrients directly to leaves at affordable cost,” they explained.

A mushroom seed production unit has been set up at the Research Centre. Gooseberry could be profitably cultivated in the local environment.

 A processing unit for extracting gooseberry juice has also been set up with marketing facilities. Farmers are also being educated in this regard.

Subject experts Hanumanthegowda, K N Jagadish and others were present.

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