Taiwan Centre Seeks Extension of Agri Varsity's Graft Technology for its Projects
THRISSUR: The Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (AVRDC), Taiwan, has approached Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) seeking extention of a grafting technology developed at the Agricultural Research Station (ARS), Mannuthy, to its project areas.
KAU Vice-Chancellor P Rajendran said the Taiwan Centre has come forward with a proposal to collaborate with the varsity in vegetable farming after having leart about the grafting technology to produce wilt-resistant vegetable seedlings, developed by C Narayanankutty, professor, ARS, from newspaper reports.
He said the World Vegetable Centre has also expressed its interest in a joint collaboration with Kerala Agriculture University in other areas of research on vegetables and getting the expertise of the scientists at the varsity in vegetable cultivation.
The AVRDC South Asia regional office in Hyderabad, which contacted KAU director of research T R Gopalakrishnan seeking assistance in this regard, has expressed high appreciation about the grafting technology which would be much beneficial to vegetable farmers in the country.
“AVRDC wishes to make use of the technology in the project areas, starting with the centres such as Chickmagalur and Raichur.
We would also appreciate the supply of grafted seedlings to these sites since the season has already begun. We also wish to avail the services of Dr Narayanankutty to impart training to the scientists and lead farmers in our project sites, AVRDC officials said in the message to the KAU. Soil-borne diseases, especially bacterial wilt, are a serious problem in growing vegetables in the coastal acidic soils in the country.
Bacterial wilt is very common in Kerala, especially in solanaceous vegetables like brinjal, chilly, tomato, and rarely in cucurbitaceous vegetables like bittergourd, snakegourd, cucumber and ashgourd.
The grafting technology standardised by the ARS has proved successful in thwarting bacterial wilt.
Grafted seedlings of tomato, brinjal and chilly hybrids produced at the ARS have caught the attention of many and are in high demand. The ARS has distributed eight lakh vegetable seedlings this season alone, the KAU officials said.
“The AVRDC move conveying appreciation and seeking collaboration has put the KAU on the world map of agricultural technology and we are really happy about it,” U Jaikumaran, professor and head, ARS, has said.