KOCHI: The Agriculture Department is on an ambitious task of distributing quality planting material to increase the production in the state.
Tissue culture hardening units will be established in selected farms for incorporating modern technologies. Five farms have been selected and infrastructure would be provided at an estimated cost of `1 crore here.
Kerala Agro Industries Corporation Limited (Kaico) has been entrusted with setting up the facilities at three farms. Assistant executive engineers of Agriculture Department will execute the work with the agency which has received the tender in other two farms.
The project is to establish a partial climate controlled polyhouse which can produce 50,000 tissue culture plantlets at a time. The area of the polyhouse comes to around 500 square metre.
The polyhouse will also have fertigation facility for hardening the tissue culture. As per the plan, the structure could meet the requirement of tissue culture from each unit which could produce one lakh plantlets at a time.
However, even after the Agriculture Department issued circulars to implement the project, it was delayed as the agency entrusted to complete the works was not able to identify a feasible technology.
Later, a technology was identified with the support of the engineering wing.
Kaico managing director A J Sharan Kumar said that the works started at three farms, State Vegetable Farm, Vandiperiyar, District Agriculture Farm, Neriyamangalam, Ernakulam, and District Agriculture Farm, Koothali, Kozhikode.
Though there were some difficulties in starting the works, it is in full phase now and expected to complete soon.
“The first hindrance was to identify the place in each farm to set up the polyhouse. Some of the trees were cut and land levelled to find a suitable place to set up the facility,” Sharan Kumar said.
As part of ensuring healthy tissue culture plantlets, the aluminium tray where the tissue culture processing is being done, has to be in moving form. The exact technology was later identified and the works have been started.
Those farms in which the works have been directly undertaken by the Agriculture Department include Biotechnology and Model Floriculture Centre, Kazhakoottam, Thiruvananthapuram, and Seed Garden Complex, Munderi, Malappuram.
The total amount estimated for the construction of polyhouse with raised platform is `20 lakh each. The concerned assistant executive engineers of the Agriculture Department will supervise the work.