KOCHI: The Ernakulam Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s (KVK) soil-less medium which can be used as an alternative to the soil in farming, has become a huge hit among Kochiites. The initiative received a great response from the public at the sales mela held at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).Around 1,000 people visited the mela and purchased nearly 2,000 packets of the product. The mela was conducted as part of popularising the new soil-less medium among the public. In addition, bookings were made for around 5,000 packets.
The Ernakulam KVK, functioning under the CMFRI, developed the soil-less medium by using composted pressmud, a by-product from sugar mills along with coir pith, powdered cow dung, neem cake, dolomite and biocontrol agents. Around 70 people approached the Business Desk at the mela expressing willingness for commercial production of the soil-less medium. They were provided technical details regarding investment and raw materials needed to manufacture the product.
“We are happy the product has been well-received. Many people have approached us for using KVK technology to manufacture the product on a commercial scale. KVK will provide training to them in immediate future. With the scarcity of quality soil posing a challenge to the organic farmers in the city, the new soil-less mix will be a great advantage to them for growing vegetables and other plants. One packet of the product weighing 10 kg can be used to grow one plant and no grow bag is required,” said KVK head Shinoj Subrahmanyan. KVK will conduct another mela on September 26, Shinoj said. Those interested can register their names by making a call to 8281757450.