The ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Sreekariyam, Thiruvananthapuram, has promoted cassava seed villages in Gandharvakottai taluk in Pudukottai district.
The seed villages have been established through distribution of planting materials of cassava varieties such as Sree Reksha and Sree Athulya developed by CTCRI. Similar seed villages have been raised at Kolli Hills in Namakkal district and Gudamalai in Salem to overcome shortage of planting material.
In Gandharavakottai taluk, 10 farmers have been extended support to raise the crop on an acre each at Veeradipatti, Manjampatti and Mudhukulam, according to R. Muthuraj, Principal Scientist, Seed technology, Division of Crop Production, CRCRI.
“The planting materials are distributed free of cost and fertilizers are supplied to the beneficiairies. The farmers planted the crop in February and the crop will be ready for harvest in a couple of months.The crop in the seed villages are in good condition and are found to be resistant to mealybug. The yield is expected to be good,” he told The Hindu.
The seed villages have been established in select villages by identifying promising farmers in major cassava growing areas under the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) programme. The farmers are provided good quality disease-free varieties of cassava and financial assistance.
The objective of the programme is to turn farmers into seed entrepreneurs to overcome shortage of quality planting materials of improved varieties of cassava. Cassava is globally recognised as a potential climate resilient crop.
A team of scientists from ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, comprising Mr. Muthuraj, K. M. Senthilkumar, Scientist, Biotechnology, Division of Crop Improvement, and P. Prakash, Scientist, Agricultural Economics, Extension and Social Sciences, visited the three places in the State recently to provide farm advisory service and monitor seed village demonstration plots.
A training programme for farmers on improved technologies cultivation was organised in association with the Horticulture Department at Gudamalai recently, Mr. Muthuraj said.
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