HYDERABAD: Sugarcane scientists from the Professor Jayashankar agricultural university showcased their findings on improving germination, harvesting and means to improve farmer income at the Agritech south 2018 exhibition on the university campus. The stall put up by the scientists attracted many sugarcane farmers and even caught the attention of the state agricultural minister who appreciated the efforts taken by the scientists.
The scientists have come up with a novel method to cut the germination time of sugarcane buds by using coir pete or sawdust in the germination stage. “The seeds usually take 45 days to germinate but we have managed to bring down the germination time to just 25 days. The coir pete is used in a nursery of sugarcane buds where it germinates,” said Dr Vijay Kumar, principal scientist, sugarcane. The scientists have also come up with a technique to help seeds germinate at low temperatures. “ Seeds don’t germinate when the temperature drops to 13 degrees.We have developed in our laboratory a calcium chloride-based compound that helps the seed germinate at low temperatures,” said Kumar.
The sugarcane scientists have also worked on modifications to sugarcane bud chipping that has helped farmers at their Zaheerabad research facility increase crop yield by 15 per cent by decreasing input costs. “We modified the bud chipper to a hemispherical chipping knife that has helped improve the number of buds,” said Kumar.
Startup hopes to weed out middlemen
Hyderabad: An agricultural startup, Nandi Krushi, based out of Vijayawada hopes to get organic farmers go online for better access to buyers. The startup’s business model enables organic farmers set the price of their products and get in touch directly with the customer, cutting out middlemen.