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Achievements

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On-farm testing programmes

The interventions covered major crops such as rice, banana and vegetables as well as coconut based farming system.

Improved agronomic and horticultural techniques for reduction of cultivation cost.

The technologies assessed were capable of addressing the problems of low income from rice as well as homesteads. It may be noted that some problems like weedy rice menace required prolonged efforts. Finally the KVK scientists could come up with a solution to the problem. In many of the cases, the successful technologies have been either taken up as a Front line demonstration or demonstrated through other externally funded programmes. The salient output and pertinent aspects of each OFT are described below:

Suitability of ground nut in sandy rice fallows and river beds during summer

Ground nut is grown only in small pockets in the eastern belt of Palakkad district. Testing the suitability of groundnut in sandy rice fallows was conducted in Ummathoor padasekharam of Anakkara grama panchayath during the summer season of 2010. Farmers perceived groundnut cultivation as a lucrative option which gave good return within a short span of 3 months with reduced labour and irrigation requirement. An average yield of 1142 kg/ha was recorded with a net return of Rs. 20538/- per ha with the added advantages of reduced weed incidence, skipping lime application and high build up of residual organic matter for the next rice crop. Encouraged from the OFT programme, Anakkara grama panchayath allocated funds in the annual plan for taking up groundnut cultivation in 5 ha during 2011.

Concurrent growing of cowpea in dry sown rice

An important constraint to dry seeded rice cultivation is high weed infestation. Hence, sowing of cowpea along with rice @15 kg/ha followed by incorporation of the plants with soil (after spraying 2, 4-D @ 1.0 kg/ha at 30 days after sowing) at the time of flowering was tested in Vilayur and Thiruvegappura Grama panchayaths. Concurrent growing of cowpea resulted in weed suppression of 60 % in the initial 40 days due to its rapid growth rate and weed smothering nature.

Management of problematic algae ‘Chara’

In an attempt to control the infestation of aquatic algae Chara in rice fields, different herbicide combinations along with liming and copper sulphate application were tested in Kuzhalamannam and Thenkurissi panchayats where Chara infestation was very severe. A pre-emergent combination of Bensulfuronmethyl and pretilachlor followed by 2, 4-D application gave significant control of the algae in the trial.

Effect of VAM for nendran banana

The efficiency of VAM along with chemical fertilizers for Nendran banana was tested in farmers' fields in Anakkara grama panchayath. VAM applied banana plots recorded 41 tonnes of fruit per hectare which is 23% more than the yield in the farmers’ practices. VAM application could save the fertilizer N, P and K to the extend of 25%, 50% and 25% respectively.

Inter cropping in coconut with turmeric and amaranth

To utilize the basins and bunds of coconut garden, an innovative technique of cultivating turmeric on bunds during rainy season and amaranth in basins during summer was tested in farmers plots in Chalissery Panchayath. The results indicated that income from coconut garden could be enhanced with this practice.

High density planting in banana var. Robusta:

The OFT on high density planting in banana var. Robusta was taken up in Paruthur and Anakkara grama panchayats. The technological options were planting one sucker per pit at a spacing of 2.4x1.8 m and planting three suckers per pit at a spacing of 3.6x1.8m spacing. A plant density increase of 33% and 100% could be achieved in this method of planting. Increase in income from unit area by high density planting of banana variety robusta was assessed by comparing single planting (1plant/pit at 1.8 X 2.4 m spacing), double planting (2 plants/pit at 1.8 X 3.6 m spacing) and triple planting (3 plants/pit at 1.8 X 3.6m). Single planting recorded average bunch weight of 20-22 kg, double planting15-18 kg and triple planting 11-12 kg respectively. A saving of 44% in labour cost and 37.5% in fertiliser use was observed in triple planting.

Farm Mechanisation

The interventions in this thrust area were mainly aimed at addressing the problem of labour shortage as well as increased cost of cultivation. Many of these interventions were innovative and is being considered for inclusion in the Package of Practices recommendation of KAU for widespread popularisation.  The implements/machinery for most of these trials was procured by external funding from State Government.

Selective mechanisation in rice

The OFT was conducted using the funds from State government. An implement/machinery package for direct sown (dry and wet seeded) rice was evolved by testing the efficacy in farmers fields. The evolved recommendation was included in the ZREAC recommendation for rice production machinery.

Assessment of rice transplanters

An assessment of three different types of rice transplanters viz., six row four wheel riding type, four row walk behind type and 8 row single wheel riding type was taken up in Vilayur and Kodumbu grama panchayats. The four row walk behind type and four wheel six row riding type transplanters, both having a row spacing of 30 cm, could be used conveniently in fields where water cannot be drained completely. The 8 row riding type transplanter (row spacing 23.7 crn) which has a corrugated sliding float board caused submergence of adjoining rows in slushy field condition. Significant difference in yield was not observed for the medium duration variety Uma. Light weight walk behind type transplanters were comfortable for women labourers due to their better maneuverability in small fields. It was also observed that the actual hourly cost of operation is dependent on the annual hours of use. The selection shall be made considering the geophysical condition of the field, annual area operated, as well as the product quality and availability of repair and maintenance facility.

Power weeders for paddy

The 3 row Japanese design power weeder with finger type rotor was found suitable for weeding of paddy transplanted at a row spacing of 30 cm in the assessment conducted in Kannadi grama panchayat. The TNAU recommended two row power weeder was difficult to be operated without seedling damage and the operator experienced more drudgery. Hence the 3 row finger type weeder was recommended for purchase and was supplied by the block panchayat to 10 ‘labour support groups’ in the block.

Refined Seeder attachment to tractor

The KVK refined seeder attachment to tractor for dry seeding of rice was tested in farmers’ fields in Ongallur, Koppam, Muthuthala and Kizhakkencherry grama panchayats during May 2012. The inadequacy and delay of south-west monsoon affected proper germination and the crop performance was generally poor. Rotary weeders could not be used as sufficient water was not available during the early stages. However, the refined seeder was found to be better in performance for line sowing of dry seeded rice compared to the earlier implement due to its better control on depth of seeding. The cost of the implement also could be reduced substantially.

The refined seeder was further tested during the subsequent year in Muthuthala grama panchayat. The refined seeder was found to have better performance compared to the conventional seeder attachment to cultivator. No clogging of boot was observed. The depth of seed placement could be successfully controlled to the required range of 3 – 6 cm. A better uniformity in germination was also noticed with better yields compared to dry sown plots by manual broadcasting.

Combination implement for dry seeding and herbicide Application

Direct seeding (dry) in rice is a common practice in Palakkad district during the ‘Virippu’ season. The major problem in dry seeded rice is the weed menace and manual weeding is not at all economical. An effort was taken up for developing a combination implement capable of line seeding rice with simultaneous application of pre-emergent herbicide. The KVK refined dry seeding attachment was further modified by attaching an electrically operated sprayer with three nozzles. The field evaluation conducted in the field of Sri. Bhavadasan, a progressive farmer, revealed that correct rate of herbicide could be applied simultaneously with line seeding. The technology is expected to be a boon to farmers as this enables farmers to suppress the weed growth without additional labour cost. Once the rain starts, mechanical weeders can be used to eliminate subsequent weed growth, as the seeding is done in lines.

Electrically operated herbicide applicator attachment to rice transplanter

An electrically operated herbicide applicator which works on 12 Volt DC was developed. The applicator has nozzles with 1.0 lpm discharge and can be attached easily to transplanters with 12 V battery for self starting. The study was taken up for riding type 8 row single wheel sliding transplanter.

The system was capable of discharging the required quantity of chemical on the soil surface and could meet the agronomic requirement. Simultaneous operation (transplanting and herbicide application) could reduce cost. The applicator could be easily attached and is a simple system operated electrically. No modifications in transmission system or attachment of mechanical parts like gear box required.

Popularisation of improved crop varieties and their scientific management including INM

PGPR-1 to enhance fertilizer use efficiency in rice

PGPR-1, a consortium of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria, is expected to reduce the fertilizer requirement by enhancing soil nutrient availability. In the context of rising fertilizer costs an OFT was taken up in transplanted rice to assess the efficacy of PGPR-1 during second crop season in Kannadi, Polpulli, Kuzhalmannam and Muthlamada grama panchayaths. 12% yield increase

Nutrient management by IIHR Vegetable Special in Cucurbits

Balanced nutrient management strategy incorporating micro nutrients was tried in Ozhalapathy and Anakkara grama panchayaths. Out of the three treatments tested IIHR Vegetable Special (micro nutrient mixture with humic acid) was superior to the other treatments viz. cow dung and ash as well as NPK 70:25:25 kg / ha. The IIHR vegetable special was applied as foliar spray @ 5g/l at 30th, 45th & 60th days after planting along with and NPK 70:25:25 kg/ha. An yield increase of 23% along with reduced pest and disease incidence had a favourable impact on the economics.

On Farm Production of Organic Manure in Coconut garden

To combat scarcity of organic manure in coconut garden, assessment of three low cost and simple techniques for on farm production of organic manures were continued for the second year in farmer's fields. The methods tested were in-situ green manure production by growing sun hemp, composting of coconut wastes and growing glyricidia as intercrop. Farmers preferred in-situ green manure production by growing sun hemp as it is easy, labour saving and economically viable.

Selection of suitable variety for ratoon cropping in rice

In areas where only a single crop of rice is taken, ratooning could be practised as a resource conservation technique if adequate water is available after harvest. The OFT to assess the suitability of three popular varieties viz. Uma, Kanchana and Jyothi for ratooning, was conducted in Ongallur grama panchayat. One fourth of the total N & K recommendation for regular crop was given as top dressing.

Assessment of Cowpea Varieties

Cowpea varieties namely Bhagyalakshmi and Kasi Kanchan were assessed in Vadakarapathy, Pattancherry, Muthalamada, Puthunagaram, Chittur and Alathur panchayaths. Better yield was recorded in Kasi Kanchan than Bhagyalakshmi but better market preference was received for Bhagyalakshmi due to the preferential colour. No serious pest and disease attack were observed in both varieties.

Integrated Pest & Disease Management

Management of Leaf footed bug in Bitter gourd

A comparative assessment of organic and chemical sprays was done on ‘Management of leaf footed bug in Bitter gourd in Vadakarapathy panchayath, the application of cymbush was found to be effective. Considerable reduction in pest population as well as increased yield was observed in the cymbush treated field.

Management of Blast in Rice

 In Kondoorkkara and Pambadi areas 5ha of area was taken for the OFT on Management of Blast disease of Rice. It was found that Isoprothiolane40%EC@1.5 ml was effective (Alternate practice) compared  to farmers practice. BC ratio from1.2to 1.41 with an yield increase from 2.7 to 4.1 t/ha(65% increase ).

Management of False smut of rice

False smut of rice (Lakshmi disease) which was a minor disease in earlier times has become serious in different areas of Palakkad district. The OFT conducted for management of this disease in rice fields of Vilayoor and Pambadi areas in 5ha with 20 farmers showed that Carbendazim 0.5 kg/ha was more effective than Mancozeb 0.4 kg/ha and showed 23% increase in yield.

Management of leaf folder in rice

Application of Flubendiamide 20% WG (Takumi) @125 g in 500 l of water/ha after 40 days of transplanting was most effective for control of leaf folder in rice. Pest intensity reduced from 50% 10%. The average increase in yield was 1.8 tonnes/ha.

Eco-friendly farming

Portable light trap for pest monitoring in rice

A portable light trap for pest monitoring in rice was developed and field tested. It has the advantages of low electricity consumption, ease of operation and portability. The OFT was conducted by setting up the trap in Kondoorkara padasekharam of Ongallur panchayath. The light trap was also tried in Vilayur, Pattithara and Koppam grama panchayats. The count of insects attracted by light was useful to monitor and manage the pests efficiently.

Biological Control of Papaya Mealy Bug

Biological control measures are the need of the hour for control of papaya mealy bug, Paracoccus marginatus, which initially colonize on the lower side of the papaya leaves along the veins and later cover all the fruits and growing parts resulting in complete destruction of the plant. Since it is a polyphagus pest, it attacks several agricultural and horticultural crops including weeds. Chemical pesticides give temporary relief and cause pollution as well as ecocidal effects killing several beneficial insects. Powerful water spray as a jet, application of soap solution-Neem oil-Kerosene spray (4ml+5ml+3ml in 1 litre of water) for food crops and Malathion 50 EC @ 20 ml/ 10 l for other plants, and application of Verticillium lecanii a biocontrol agent @5g/l were the control measures tested. The results revealed that the effect of V. lecanii was on par with Malathion spray.

Management of rice leaf folder

The results of the OFT on Management of rice leaf roller conducted in an area of 4 ha in Pattithara grama panchayath proved that application of Beauveria bassiana @ 20g in one litre of water (200 litres/acre) gave 100% control on leaf roller of rice and was better than application of Acephate 75% SP @ 1.5 g/l.

Metarhizium anisopliae for control of rhinoceros beetle in Coconut

The efficacy of Metarhizium anisopliae was compared with two biocontrol methods against rhinoceros beetle in Thachampara, Kanjirappuzha, Pookkottukavu grama panchayaths and Ottappalam. The farmer’s practice was application of common salt @ 2kg/palm. The recommended practice by KAU was filling the innermost two leaf axils with naphthalene balls + sand and incorporationof the plant C l e r o d e n d r o n i n f o r t u n a t u m Lin.@10% w/w basis in manure pits. As alternate practice, M e t a r h i z i u m anisopliae was applied @ 300 ml/l of water/m2 area (108 spores/ml of water) in manure pits and coconut basins and other breeding sites during wet climatic conditions. Observations after three weeks showed 100% mycosis of O.rhinoceros grubs by Metarhizium. A reduction of pest attack from 85% to 10% observed after 6 months indicated the superiority of Metarhizium over the other two options.

Bio-intensive management of blast disease in rice

In 2012-13 an OFT on Bio intensive management of rice blast disease was done with the comparison of application of   Isoprothiolane (Fuji-one) and Trichoderma and found that Trichoderma  applied as seed treatment (10g/kg of seed), seedling  root dip(20g/l) was equally effective  as the blasticide  Isoprothiolane (Fuji-one)  @1.5ml/l Disease incidence reduced  from 25%  to 23%, 50% increase in yield.

Eco-friendly management techniques for bacterial leaf blight of rice

Bacterial leaf blight of rice is increasing year by year in rice growing areas of Palakkad district and an OFT on Eco friendly management techniques for bacterial leaf blight of rice was conducted at Manisseri, Mannarkkad and Pattambi areas in 2013, where PGPR-II (as seed treatment @10g/kg of seed, seedling root dip @ 250g/750 ml and foliar application @ 20g/l on 30 DAT and 45 DAT) tried against Pseudomonas fluorescens and found that  disease intensity reduced  from 80%  to 30%  in both the treatments and no difference with Pseudomonas fluorescens and for the control of BLB in rice.

Eco-friendly management of Pseudostem weevil in banana

OFT on Eco-friendly management of Pseudostem weevil in banana during 2014, in Anakkara, Kottoppadam and Pattithara areas. The effectiveness of  biopesticides, Nanma and Menma (cassava leaf products from CTCRI) was compared with Quinalphos and found that spraying of Nanma 5% in water during flower initiation stage as prophylactic measure and injecting Menma-15ml/plant 5cm below the hole made by the weevil could reduce pest attack from 80% to 25%.

Integrated farming system

Assessment of Ovulation synchronization protocols to treat infertility in bovines

Infertility is a major problem in the dairy animals. One of the major causes of infertility is delayed ovulation or anovulation, which is expressed as prolonged oestrus or persistent heat. In order to treat this condition, three ovulation synchronization protocols were tested in Vaniyamkulam, Vandazhy and Nellya grama panchayaths. Analysis of observations revealed the superiority of ‘Ovosynch’ in treatment of bovine infertility.

Refinement of ovulation induction protocols

There are several reasons for infertility in cattle, including nutritional, hormonal and managerial resulting in ovulation defects, like anovulation and delayed ovulation. Ovulation induction protocols are used to correct the defective ovulation in animals. A trial to refine the protocol for treating infertility in repeat breeder cattle was taken up in Nenmara, Kailiyad and Vaniyamkulam. Animals failed to conceive, even after four or more inseminations were selected for the trial.

            Out of the three ovulation induction protocols tested in repeat breeder cattle in Nellaya, Nenmara and Ongalloor grama panchayaths, GnRH-PGF2-GnRH protocol (Ovosynch) with fixed time AI was found to give 90% conception rate. The results revealed that this method is effective for management of repeat breeding in cattle. Hence it was decided to popularize the ‘Ovosynch’ method through front line demonstrations.

Assessment of hybrid Napier varieties for fodder and establishment of fodder bank

Fodder shortage is an important problem faced by the dairy farmers of the district. In order to identify the suitable fodder variety for the agro climatic conditions of Palakkad district and to act as a source of fodder slips to the farmers, a fodder bank was established at KVK Palakkad and an Assessment was  done with Hybrid Napier varieties viz. IGFRI- 7, DHN-6, CO3, CO4, Thumboormuzhi, Australian Napier, Suguna and Supriya. Assessment revealed that Killikulam, DHN-6, CO4, Supriya and IGFRI- 7 are suitable varieties in rain fed condition.

KVK has established a fodder bank with nine varieties of Hybrid Napier varieties to act as a source of slips to farmers of the district. Farmers are growing these fodder grass for cattle, goat and rabbit.

Value addition and market promotion of fruits, vegetables and coconut

Post Harvest Treatments to Enhance Organoleptic Qualities and Shelf Life of Dehydrated Vegetables

In order to improve the organoleptic qualities of kondattams, blanching treatments with natural as well as chemical agents were tested among the women groups of Pirayiri, Kottayi and Kollangode grama panchayaths. Among this, blanching with tamarind juice was found effective in preserving colour and appearance resulting in better consumer acceptabilty.

Conservation of energy and fuel by use of efficient implements & renewable energy

KAU Portable - Split Biogas plant

The KAU portable-split biogas plant developed by KVK was further modified with a stirring arrangement so as to prevent scum build-up. The results of the OFT could reveal that the gadget with a digester capacity of 500 litres is suitable to farmers having only one cow. The gas measurement indicate that the biogas plant could produce 300-400 litres of biogas per day and could be run trouble free for the last six months. The sealed biogas plant with improved hygiene is suitable in urban areas.

Portable solar dryer

A portable solar dryer for drying vegetables was fabricated and tested. An average increase in temperature of 6° C than the atmospheric temperature has been recorded inside the drying chamber. This dryer was specially designed for use in dehydrated vegetable production (kondattam) units. Drying the vegetables in this drier improved the product quality attributes and were free from physical contaminants.

Improved agronomic and horticultural techniques for improving profitability:

Scientific Management of Weeds in Direct sown rice.

Weed menace could be successfully controlled by the use of pre-emergent herbicides followed by application of post emergent herbicides for broad leaved weeds and sedges. 35% yield increase was observed in the demonstrations done during 2009. The updated technology was further demonstrated in 2013-14 also in other locations.

Silica application in iron toxic soils for productivity

Silica application as rice husk ash @250kg/ha has reduced the requirement of liming and resulted in 30% yield increase over control plots.

Concurrent growing of cowpea in dry sown rice for reducing weed incidence and enhancing organic matter build up

Wider adoption of dry seeded rice is constrained by poor yields which can be attributed to high weed infestations. Success of such a system mainly depends on the management practices that can effectively check the growth and development of weeds. Hence, sowing of rice along with cowpea @6 kg/acre followed by incorporation at the time of flowering by spraying 2, 4-D @ 1.0 kg/ha at 30 days after sowing was tested in Vilayur and Thiruvegappura Grama panchayath in an area of 1ha. Concurrent growing with cowpea has resulted in weed suppression of 60 % for 40 days due to early rapid growth and weed smothering nature of cowpea

Weed management in wet seeded rice using pre emergent herbicides

Pre emergent herbicides  like Pretilachlor +Safener application were very effective for initial weed control raising the B: C ratio from 1.4 to 1.75, compared to the control.

Resource conservation by selection of proper varietal combination in Koottumundakan system

The demonstration was conducted in the area of Pulasseri, Vandumthara with the varietal combination of Samyuktha and Makaram in 70:30 proportion is mixed and broad casted in the field. The local varieties of Kattamodan and Chettadi were checked against the demonstrations. The yield of 3200 quintals per hectare was received in the demonstration of Samyuktha and Makaram varieties and yield increase of 58% was recorded over the check. Finally the additional benefit of grain and straw from both varieties and the labour and resource saving also be a further additional benefit.

Management of iron toxicity in rice

The demonstration was conducted in Ummathoor area in the rice variety of Uma. The technology demonstrated was correction of soil acidity by application of 600kg lime/ha and soaking of paddy seeds in 1%ZnSO4 and 0.25%CuSO4 for 24 hours. The yield of 3700 quintals per hectare was received in the demonstration area and yield increase of

28% was recorded over the check. The benefit cost ratio of 1: 1.56 was recorded in the demonstrated plots.

Popularisation of organic vegetable cultivation in urban households using rain shelters.

Crops cultivated in these units recorded higher productivity levels compared to those in open condition and found to be adequate for meeting the daily requirement of vegetables for the family

Hardening of Tissue Culture Banana Plantlets

Tissue culture banana plantlets are in great demand among farmers owing to their uniform growth, good quality and disease free nature. Lack of reliable sources for good quality tissue culture banana plantlets with reasonable price is a major problem reported by banana farmers. The FLD on hardening of tissue-culture banana plantlets was done to popularize the hardening technology among farmers so that they will be able to produce tissue culture plants for their region. The hardening unit with dimensions 4m x 2m x 1.5m could accommodate 200 plants was provided to farmers. By adopting the hardening technology at the farmer's level, a survival rate of 87.5% was observed.

Popularising Tuber Crops in Homesteads for Food Security:

KVK has set up demonstrations on tuber crops viz, amorphopahallus and colocasia in 50 rural households of Mooliparamba area of Nagalassery panchayath for increasing household’s access to diverse foods so as to reduce household poverty.

Farm mechanization

Tractor operated rotovator

Demonstrations on tractor operated rotovator were conducted in the virippu season in Muthuthala and Koppam grama panchayats. The use of rotovator could save around 40 percent time and cost along with reduced fuel expenditure. The better and uniform pulverisation obtained was also an added advantage.

Mechanised rice cultivation

Apart from having individual machines for specific operations a package of machinery for a particular rice production system was demonstrated. This could convince the farmers on the use of a machinery package with compatible improved implements and machinery. The overall resource use efficiency was improved.

Group mechanization in rice

Group mechanization of rice was implemented in Vilayur panchayat with a view to make available modern implements to small and medium farmers. This could also enable use of same variety as as to undertake plant protection and harvesting at the same time. Farmers could be convinced not only on the advantages of mechanization but also the convenience and ease attainable in each operation as well as marketing, when done as a group. 

Group dynamics for mechanisation in rice

Activating group dynamics is essential for mecharriration of rice cultivation. Adoption of mechanisation in the entire padasekharam makes the management easy and cost effective. This FLD programme was taken up in Kodumbu, Vilayur, Thathamangalam, Kappur and Koppam grama panchayats. The demonstration at Tathamangalam was inauguratedby Shri. K. Achuthan, MLA on 9th July 2011.

Popularization of  Paddy variety Sampada

The newly released Sampada rice variety recorded higher yield with reduced pest and disease incidence.

Popularisation of Cool Season Vegetables in Homesteads

Demonstrations of tropical cabbage varieties NS 160 and NS 183 and cauliflower variety Basant were raised in 20 homesteads in Thrithala, Anakkara and Pattambi grama panchayaths. The seedlings are being provided to needy farmers by KVK. The cool season varieties yields were in the range of 1.5-2.5 and 1.0 to 1.6 kg per plant for cabbage and cauliflower respectively.

Popularization of Coleus var. Suphala

The newly released high yielding coleus var. Suphala with good cooking quality was demonstrated in ten farmers' fields in Kadambazhipuram Panchayath in an area of 0.05 ha.

Improved Variety of Chinese Potato Var. Nidhi

The high yielding Chinese potato var. Nidhi with large-sized tubers and good cooking quality, released from RARS, Pattambi was demonstrated in Kadambazhipuram grama panchayath

Management of bud-rot in coconut

Early detection of the disease, complete destruction of affected plant parts and application of Bordeaux mixture 1% and tying of Mancozeb sachet 2 no.s (3g each) was demonstrated in 0.7 ha in 20 fields. Yield increase 23%.

Management of stem bleeding in coconut

Demonstration was conducted in 0.8 ha in 20 fields. Affected portion is removed and Calixin paste or coal tar is applied. Application of neem cake 5 kg, and Calixin at 25 ml in 25 litres of water as a drench in the basins of palms. Disease intensity reduced up to 50%. and an increase in yield of 20%.

Management of Sigatoka leafControl of ‘Sigatoka

Due to the unseasonal rainfall, leaf spot disease of banana, known as ‘Sigatoka’ disease was spreading throughout the banana growing areas of the district. The disease was likely to cause serious loss if neglected and for effective management affected leaves must be cut and burnt. The demonstrations conducted in Melmuri area could illustrate that spraying of Propiconazole (Tilt) 1- 2 litres/plant@1ml/litre is effective for control of this disease. Demonstration was done in 10 fields in 2 ha. 10% increase in yield was observed..

Management of false smut in rice

Destruction of previous crop residue to avoid early attack was done and  application of Propiconazole (Tilt) 1.5 ml/l  demonstrated in 5 ha for 20 farmers . 27% increase in yield was observed due to this integrated approach.

Integrated Pest Management in rice

 Demonstration was conducted in 25 fields. Trichocards against stem borer and leaf folder (Trichogramma chilonis and Trichogramma japonicum). In a few severe cases, spraying of Coragen (Chlorantraniliprole) 150 ml/ha against stem borer, Takumi (Flubendiamide) 20%WG @ 50g in 200 litres of water/acre against leaf folder were found effective. Application of seed and seedling treatment and spraying with Pseudomonas fluorescens against Bacterial Leaf Blight was demonstrated. Spraying of 1.5g/l Propiconazole (Tilt) against false smut and Carbendazim 1g/l for brown leaf spot was demonstrated. Increase in yield up to 19%.

Popularisation KAU portable light trap for pest monitoring

The portable light trap developed by Krishi Vigyan Kendra was demonstrated in farmers fields in Anakkara and Melmuri (Koppam grama panchayat). The unit was found suitable for monitoring the phototropic pests of rice. The incidence of rice stem borer and rice bug  attack could be detected and controlled.

Management of Stem borer in Brinjal through Trichogramma Egg Card

The Trichogramma egg card was found to be very effective in stemborer  in brinjal. The use of card recorded increased yield of 38% and resulted no stem borer incidence in the demonstrated plots. The chemical spary against stemborer was nil in the demonstrated areas.

Management of Rice Stem borer

Demonstrations of  pheromone traps for rice stem borer management were conducted in Anakkara and Kulukkallur Padesekarams in 6 ha 20 farmers field. The pheromone traps supplied by Pest Control India Limited at a cost of Rs 3O/- per trap were effective in trapping the male moths. Yield increase 17%.

Eco-friendly management of fruit fly in cucurbits using pheromone traps:

 Pheromone traps are simple, eco-friendly and cost-effective devices for management of cucurbit fruit fly.  15 traps /ha was fixed in various fields of farmers in Pattithara, Vaniyamkulam, Vadakarapathy, Attayampathy and Kollengode areas.  The traps gave an excellent result by attracting and killing the male fruit flies there by reducing the pest population. This non-polluting technique could  be demonstrated in 12 ha and 95 fields with an yield increase of 42%. The overall cost of cultivation could be reduced by 12 %.

Management of fruit fly in mango using pheromone traps

Muthalamada, is the only  area in Kerala, where mango is cultivated as a plantation model . The use of pheromone traps against mango fruit fly works on a simple male annihilation technique. Demonstration was done for 250 farmers in 90ha of Muthalamada, Kollenkode, Attayampathy and Ozhalappathy. Farmers were satisfied with the technology since the trap catch /day was about 75 insects during the peak season. The rate of damage diminished from 67% to 14%. The yield increase was 32 % over the control and the cost of cultivation could be reduced by 15 %.

Management of rhinoceros beetle in Coconut by Metarhizium anisopliae

Management of rhinoceros beetle in Coconut  by was  demonstrated in Thachampara, Kanjirappuzha, Pookkottukavu, Ottappalam  by applying Metarhizium anisopliae @ 300 ml/l of water/m2 area (108 spores/ml of water) in manure pits, coconut basins and other breeding sites during wet climatic conditions. This caused 100% mycosis of O.rhinoceros grubs resulting in reduction of pest attack from 45 to 23% was obtained.

Eco-friendly management of sucking pests in vegetables

Sucking pests in vegetables reduce the yield up to 75% and pesticide application in vegetables add residues in products. Therefore this ecofriendly technology was demonstrated in 22 fields in 6 ha by spraying  of Neem soap @ 10g/litre at Pattithara, Anakkara and Perigottukurissi. Pest attack reduced  from 25% to 15% and yield was increased up to 27%.

Nutrition security and waste management in anganwadis

Demonstration of nutrition garden and pipe composting unit in anagnwadies could ensure availability of green leafy vegetables at least once in a week from nutrition garden.

Rumen bypass fat and mineral vitamin mixture

Lactation stress is a major limitation for high milk producing animals especially during the early phase of lactation. For overcoming the adverse effects, such as production loss, delay in the onset of first estrus and ketosis,.controlled feeding with high energy feeds during early lactation has been found effective. The best and proven method of administering high energy to dairy animals by providing 150 to 250g bypass fat in a controlled manner was demonstrated to farmers in Ongallur, Pattambi, and Koppam grama panchayats.

When 150 to 200 g bypass fat was administered in a controlled manner, an increase in milk production of 1.5 to 1.75 litres per day was noticed for animals producing more than 15 litres in the early lactation with the added advantage of ketosis avoidance.

Tree fodder production

One of the important constraints of dairy, goat and rabbit farmers of the district is non-availability of quality fodder, especially during summer months. In order to solve this problem tree fodders (excellent sources of protein) were popularized through front line demonstrations. Planting materials of tree fodder crops like subabul, agathi and desmanthus have been distributed to farmers of Vallapuzha, Pattambi, Ongalloor, Nagalassery and Koppam grama panchayats. This helped the farmers to reduce the cost of purchased concentrate feed to the animal.

Flumethrin as a Pour-on Preparation for control of biting flies and ticks

Biting flies and ticks are posing a major health problem for dairy animals as they not only suck blood but also transmit lot of blood parasitic (haemoprotozoal) diseases, like Babesiosis, Theileriosis, and Anaplasmosis. These ecto-parasites cause anaemia, protein deficiency, skin allergy and disease transmission. The control of blood sucking flies with traditional skin preparations are not effective as the contact time is very low due to washing away. After few days of treatment their larvae and nymphs re-infest the animals from farm premises. Pour -on preparation once applied can remain in the skin for a prolonged period, killing these ecto-parasites over a period of 3 weeks. This demonstration has been done in Nenmara, Vallapuzha, and with good response from the dairy farmers.

1% Flumethrin as a Pour-on preparation, was effective in controlling biting flies and ticks over a period of two to three weeks in the demonstrations in Kulukkallur, Nenmara, Vallapuzha, Chalavara, Kailiyad, Njagattiri and Puzhampalakode. This was also effective in controlling flies and maggots in FMD affected animals.

Integrated Farming System

By product utilization and possibility for recycling of residues enabling better resource use efficiency is the major advantage of Integrated Farming System (IFS). KVK aided demonstrations of IFS has been implemented in the fields of two farmers namely Sri. Kareem of Koppam and Sri.Gopi Mohan of Wadakkenchery. Kareem is integrating dairy,goat ,ducks,broiler Chicken and fish cultivation with paddy, vegetable, fodder and banana cultivation. He achieved better soil fertility and increased disease resistance through application of farmyard manure. He is using the byproducts of paddy and plantain as feed for cattle and goat. He is feeding fish with waste from his broiler production.

Small scale production of coconut water vinegar

Five small scale units with a capacity of 50 litres per month were set up. This has become a model for SHG groups and a means for additional income from the otherwise wasted coconut water. 

Enhancing the nutritive value and marketability of  refined flour (maida) based  vermicelli

For improving nutritive value of vermicelli, combinations with ragi and soya flour were tried. Ragi vermicelli (fortified with 55 %  ragi flour) and soya vermicelli (with 50 % defatted soya flour) were successfully released to the retail market.

Standardisation branding  and labeling of Pickle products

Entrepreneurs adopted the standardized pickle preservation technology and one among them initiated bulk manufacture has and branded as ‘paripoorna’ pickles and released in to market.

Standardisation of ragi health mix

Ragi based health mix has been formulated quality tested and branded as TEEN PLUS. The product has been taken up by ICDS and is being distributed through anganwadies.

Use of KAU Helical blade puddler

The improved puddling implement, KAU Helical blade puddler was demonstrated, leading to wide spread acceptability. The technology was transferred to the state owned  farm implements manufacturer in Palakkad district viz. Metal Industries Ltd.

Drip kit for vegetables

The low cost drip kit for 100 square metres was demonstrated for summer vegetable crops in the eastern parts of the district where there is severe scarcity for water. The farmers could assemble the unit themselves under KVK training. The kits are now available with dealers so that farmers can purchase them at a prize of about Rs. 1200/-

Training programmes

The training programmes were organized to impart necessary skill for farmers in the implementation of the modern technology promoted by KVK pertaining to different technical domains.

Farm mechanisation and engineering techniques

Horticultural and field crop production

Group dynamics and multidisciplinary

Plant Protection

Food Science and value addition

Livestock Production and Management

 

Major extension programmes

Awareness campaigns

Bud rot in coconut : Awareness campaign (2009)

The incidence of bud rot in coconut was observed to be wide spread during this monsoon in many places in the district. An awareness campaign was organised by KVK, Palakkad in association with Keralasserry Grama Panchayath, Krishi Bhavan and the Service Co operative bank, at Keralasserry. Smt. K. S. Saleekha, M.L.A. inaugurated the function. Technical sessions on Preventive as well as control measures of Bud rot were handled by the KVK scientists. Preparation of Bordeaux mixture and tying of Mancozeb sachet at top most leaf axil were demonstrated to the farmers.

Awareness campaign on 'Eco Friendly Management of Pests of mango at Muthalamada (2010)

With the assistance of IIHR, Bangalore and Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Kerala, KVK launched a massive campaign to reduce the indiscriminate use of pesticides in mango orchards in Muthalamada. An awareness programme was conducted on 22nd November 2010 in which Sri. S. V. Selvan, President, Muthalamada grama panchayath highlighted the relevance of the campaign. Dr. Abraham Varghese and Dr. Sivanandam, principal scientists of IIHR and scientists of KVK led the discussions during the campaign.

Popularisation of vegetable cultivation for food security in households (2010)

Awareness programmes were organised in Mannarkkad block in collaboration with Thachampara Krishi Bhavan. for creating an enthusiasm in vegetable cultivation and thereby making available pesticide free vegetables in rural and semi-urban households In addition, for encouraging the school students, seedlings of cool season vegetables were distributed to Govt. Oriental H.S. Perumudiyoor, Deaf and Dumb School, Ottappalam and B. R. Menon Memorial School, Thrithala so as to promote the idea of vegetable self sufficiency among students.

AWAREME (September 2011 to March 2013)

The notion of considering earth as Bhoo matha is weII rooted in Indian culture, This abode of life was passionately loved by Indian farmers as a goddess and mother. The neglect of this sacred concept with the spread of chemical agriculture is posing serious threat to the environment as well as human health. On the other hand, Indian farmers are bound to serve food to the growing population. A programme to spread the message of eco-friendly agriculture was launched by KVK and named' Agriculture with Awareness of Mother Earth (AWAREME)'. 'AWAREME' was launched on the auspicious occasion of Karshakadinam by Sri. M.P. Vincent, M.L.A. (Member, Executive Committee, KAU) on 17th August 2011. The programme was born  from an aspiration of KVK to spread the message to all the grama panchayats of the district that 'Earth is mother for the human kind'. The major focus is on organic cultivation practices, eco-friendly plant protection measures, use of renewable energy and energy conservation in agriculture.

Awareness programmes on healthy food (2011)

An awareness programme was organized at Govt. HSS, Peringode-on 28 July 2011 to make the students realize that healthy food right from childhood is essential for ensuring a healthy living. They were enlightened on the hazards of junk food so as to promote domestic food processing. A similar programme was conducted for the Anganwadi workers of ICDS project on 26th September 2011 at Pattambi.

Awareness programme on Foot and Mouth Disease

Awareness camps on Foot and Mouth disease were conducted in Nenmara, Ongallur and Kalladipatta. Farmers were educated on the need for vaccinating all the animals. Controlstrategies to be adopted in case of further outbreak were also explained.

Workshops and seminars

Brain storming on Value addition (2009)

 An interactive session with scientists and farmers from Kanjirapuzha area was organised at KVK. This was an opportunity for the innovative entrepreneurs to get the expert opinion in the field of food processing. Dr. M. K. Sheela, Director of Extension, chaired the session. The representatives of Jack Association at Poonchola and Sri. James P. Mathew of Kanjirappuzha Farm Club participated in the discussion besides other farmer representatives. The forum discussed ways and means to overcome the technologic as well as legal barriers in the field of agro processing.

 Control of Papaya Mealy Bug (2010)

A workshop on 'Control of Papaya mealy bug using natural enemies' was organized by KVK on 14th  December 2010 at Palakkad. The crux of the workshop was to create awareness among the Agricultural Officers of the District in the control of Papaya mealy bug using the natural enemy Azirophagus papaya. The technical session was led by Dr. Manichellappan, Associate Professor, College of Horticulture, Vellanikkara.

Marketing Strategies and Value Addition in Coconut (2010)

A work shop was conducted at this Kendra from 26th to 27th march 2010 aiming to address the problems faced by the farmers in coconut cultivation, production and sales. Dr. C.B. Manomohan, Associate Director of Extention (Centrsal zone) Chaired Technical session , in which various aspects of coconut marketing and value addition were handled by Dr.Sathish Babu, Professor, College of Horticulture, Dr. Vidhan singh, Sr.Scintist, CPCRI, Kasargode, Dr,V.K. Raju Associate Director of Research, KAU and Dr.E.R. Aneena, SMS (Home science). The Experience of leading entrepreneurs in the field of coconut value added products was shared on this occasion and an opportunity for hands on training was also given to interested farmers.  

Climate change effects in Agriculture (2010)

Changes in global climate have started interfering significantly on our ecosystems and agricultural production systems. KVK joined hands in the world wide attempt to assess the magnitude and direction of the changes and the risks to the biota with a view to evolve strategies for its mitigation. A workshop cum awareness campaign for farmers on 'Climate Change in Agriculture' was organised in this kendra in collaboration with Climate Change Research Institute, Kerala Agricultural University. Dr. G. S. H. L. V. Prasada Rao, Director, Climate Change Research Institute and his colleagues handled the technical sessions.

Paddy Protection Task Force Meet (2011)

The local self governments of Palakkad district, have for long been trying to equip, local labour support groups, in operation and maintenance of farm machinery. KVK Palakkad has been the nodal agency for coordinating the different groups in this endeavour. A workshop cum ex-trainees meet of the members of Thozhilsenas of various panchayats of Palakkad district was organized at KVK on 10th Oct.2011. About 120 members from 10 grama panchayats and Pattambi block panchayat participated in the programme and gave their feedback on the rice machinery training programmes and demonstrations conducted by KVK throughout the district. The unification of the Thozhilsena members to form a ‘Paddy Protection Task Force’ was helpful in evolving future strategies in the development and dissemination of agricultural mechanisation technology in the district. Members pointed out that many machines procured under various schemes are kept idle at various levels and they should be handed over to active Thozhilsenas for better utilization.

Workshop on Value Added Rice Products (2011)

In association with Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology, Thanjavoor a workshop cum training on ‘Novel technologies in value added rice products’ was organized on 23rd December 2011 at KVK. Dr. V.R. Sinijia, Scientist, Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology, Thanjavur and Dr. E.R. Aneena, SMS, KVK Palakkad handled the technical sessions. Demonstrations on preparation of traditional rice products like rice Pappadam and rice Kondattam were also conducted.

Seminar on Women Empowerment (2012)

A seminar was organized at Kizhakkencherry on ‘Women empowerment through A g r i c u l t u r a l Mechanisation’ for the members of women labour support group members and farmers. Dr. Mary Regina F., Assoc. Professor, KVK Thrissur lead the deliberations and delivered a motivating lecture.

Farm  Innovators Meet (2013)

A farm innovators meet was organized on 26.08.2013 as a part of the State Government funded project on identification and mapping of agricultural innovations. Selected farmers from the district presented their innovations before the multidisciplinary committee. Two innovative technologies presented by Sri. Kunju Mohammed P.M. and Sri. Marthanda Varma Raja were selected for presentation at the state level. ‘Puthuma lime slicer’ of Sri. Kunju Mohammed, an ex-trainee of KVK, is a simple and useful gadget for slicing lime in pickle production units. Sri. Marthanda Varma Raja developed a technology for production of useful products from plastic wastes.

Technology week programmes

Technology Week, 2009 : ‘Problems and prospects of rice cultivation’

KVK Palakkad organised a technology week from October 20th to 24th 2009 aiming to expose newer technologies in agriculture to the farming community. The programme was inaugurated by Sri. Mullakkara Rathnakaran, Hon. Minister for Agriculture, Kerala State by switching on the KAU portable light trap developed at KVK Palakkad. Sri. K.E. Esmail, Hon. M.P. and Dr. M.K. Sheela, Director of Extn., KAU were among the distingushed guests in the inaugural function which was presided over by Sri. K.R. Viswambharan, Hon. Vice-Chancellor of Kerala Agricultural University. A Phone -in- programme of KVK Palakkad was inaugurated by Dr. S. Prabhukumar, Zonal Project Director, ICAR. The inaugural function was followed by a workshop on ‘Problems and prospects of rice cultivation’ which was organised jointly by KVK and Regional Agricultural Research Station, Pattambi.

An exhibition showcasing recent technological advances expected to be useful to the farmers of the district was inaugurated by Dr. S. Prabhukumar, Zonal Project Director, ICAR. The exhibition held for 5 days attracted hundreds of farmers and school children. Field visits for selected progressive farmers to the OFT and FLD plots were organised on the third day in which farmer to farmer interactions was the main attraction. Demonstrations of energy and labour saving machinery for reducing the cost of cultivation in rice were also organized.  A Farmer - Scientist Interface was arranged on the fourth day in collaboration with ATMA.

Technology Week, February 2013 : Climate Change Mitigation and Conservation Agriculture

The threats posed by climate change on agricultural production are multifaceted and the world reels under the pressure. Technical empowerment of farmers, in the most vulnerable district of Kerala, to develop resilience against climate change effects is the need of the hour. KVK, Palakkad organized a week long programme from 11th to 15th February 2013 with the focal theme ‘Climate change mitigation and conservation agriculture’. The formal inauguration of the programme was done by Dr. P. Rajendran, Hon. Vice Chancellor of KAU who highlighted the current relevance of the theme in relation to the agricultural scenario of the State. He appreciated the overwhelming interest of farmers from all parts of the district, expressed by their presence in large numbers. Dr. Rajendran invited the attention of farmers to the different types of micro irrigation systems displayed at KVK and emphasized the need for evolving strategies to combat climate change effects. Dr. P. V. Balachandran, Director of Extension, KAU enlightened the house on the multi-dimensional effects of the impending hazards and reiterated the need for equipping the farming community to adopt climate change mitigation strategies. A model demonstration unit of ‘Integrated farming system’ established in KVK was dedicated to the farming community by the Hon. Vice Chancellor. An exhibition showcasing the technologies and equipments related to conservation agriculture was also conducted. The inaugural session was followed by different technical sessions on climate change mitigation strategies in Plant protection, Crop production, Water conservation and Energy conservation. The programme for subsequent days included seminars, workshops and field visits focused mainly on vegetable production, dairy and goat farming, food processing, aquaculture and agricultural mechanization.

Technology Week, December 2013: ‘Agriculture with Awareness of Mother Earth’

One among the major thrust areas of KVK Palakkad is eco-friendly agriculture. KVK organised the Technology Week during 9-12 December 2013 with the focal theme ‘Agriculture with Awareness of Mother Earth’ (AWAREME)’. The programme was inaugurated by Sri. Shafi Parambil, MLA on 9th December at the District Panchayat Hall, Palakkad. Sri. T.N. Kandamuthan, President, Palakkad Dist. Panchayat presided over the function. The key note address was delivered by Dr. P.V. Balachandran, Director of Extension who enlightened the gathering on the relevance and importance of the theme in the present day scenario. A set of seven booklets, ‘Krishi Vignana Cheppu-2013’, authored by KVK scientists  and an e-directory of ‘Lead farmers’ of the district were released on the occasion.  Food products newly introduced by KVK through entrepreneurs were also released. The lead farmers of the district were felicitated followed by technical sessions on different aspects of the theme.  The second day of tech. week was dedicated for registration and presentation of Farmers Innovations. The technologies developed by award winning farmers at the district level were presented and they were felicitated. An awareness programme on Protection of Plant Varieties and People’s Rights was organized on the third day in which farmers from the district who received national awards from PPV and FRA were felicitated. The major themes for 4th day were ‘Paddy Protection Task Force’ in Palakkad district, formulated and trained by KVK. There was also a panel discussion on ‘Value Addition and Entrepreneurship development’. Leaders of progressive ‘Labour Support Groups’ were felicitated on the occasion. More than 1200 farmers and extension workers in the district participated in the 4 days programme.

Farmers day programmes: KARSHAKADINAM (2009-2014)

The first lights of the month of ‘Chingam’  kindle the mood of festivity in the minds of every Keralite. The paddy is ripe in the fields and the entire nature is tinted in gold proclaiming the glory of agriculture. The nostalgic feelings of Maveli epoch stir up contentment and optimism in the hearts of the farmers. First of Chingam (Malayalam new year day) is celebrated as the day for paying tributes to farmers. ‘Karshaka dinam’ (farmers’ day) was celebrated in KVK every year as an occasion for KVK to express our solidarity to the farming community by sharing the joy of a good harvest so as to keep the high spirits afloat throughout the New Year.  Peoples’ representatives, Scientific Advisory Committee members and our esteemed OFT, FLD partners gather at KVK for celebrating this day of hope and joy. To share a 'Sadya' on every auspicious occasion is the tradition of Kerala and to present a memento to mark the day is the global custom. The occasions of Karshaka dinam is usually made live by traditional agricultural songs, 'Krishippattukal' and Agri-quiz.- all by the farmers, of the farmers and for the farmers.

Apart from the usual culture of celebrating ‘Karshaka dinam’ in KVK campus, it  was organized on 17th August 2013 at Nellipathy hamlet of Attappadi to show our solidarity to the tribal farmers.  In 2014 also the venue selected was Goolikadavu in Agali of Attappadi.  A KVK outreach centre ‘AWAREME’ (Agriculture with awareness on mother earth) was opened at Attappady farmers’ club office at Goolikkadavu.

 Major Exhibitions

Exhibition and ‘Scientist with Farmer’ Programme at Mannancherry, Alappuzha (2010)

KVK set up a pavilion in the exhibition organised at Mannancherry depicting the technologies popularized by the Kendra. Dr. Shaji James P., Prog. Coordinator and Dr. M. Ameena, SMS participated in ‘Scientist with Farmer’ programme organised jointly by Mannancherry grama panchayat and the KAU. In this unique extension programme led by Sri. K. R. Viswambharan, Hon’ble Vice-chancellor of KAU, the participating scientists stayed with selected farmers and conducted field visits to interact with them.

Kerala Agri Food Technology Meet 2011

Women self help group of KVK, 'Samrudhi' made their presence felt in Kerala Agri Food Technology Meet 2011. The extensive' display and sales of variety of rice products, ready mixes, dehydrated vegetables, dehydrated jack products, coconut water vinegar, traditional foods and a wide range of pickles brought an enthusiastic gush of visitors. Various agriculture technologies and gadgets promoted by KVK like portable light trap, portable biogas plant, pheromone trap for mango fruit fly, Udyanamithra, KAU helical blade puddler and portable solar dryer were displayed in the stall. All these technologies aroused special interest of visitors in the event

Harithotsavam 2011

KVK participated in the Agricultural Exhibition, 'Harithotsavam' jointly organised by Kerala Agricultural University, NABARD and the Department of Agriculture at College of Agriculture, Vellayani, from 19 to 24th September 2011.

Polima 2013 and Kerala Agri Food Pro Meet 2013

KVK set up pavilions in Polima Karshikotsavam (4th to 7th January 2013) at Palakkad municipal town hall and Kerala Agri Food Pro Meet 2013 held at Kaloor, Kochi (17- 21 February 2013). Various technology products and a variety of dehydrated vegetables, rice based food products, and fruit and vegetable products prepared by KVK supported SHGs were exhibited in the stall.

Agrifiesta 2014

KVK participated in the South India Agri Expo, ‘AGRIFIESTA’ from 28th February to 6th March 2014 at KAU main campus, Vellanikkara. Modern rice cultivation machinery and other eco-friendly technologies promoted by KVK like pheromone traps for vegetables and mango were exhibited. Dehydrated vegetable products, rice based value added food products and other value added food products prepared by KVK supported SHGs were available for sale in the KVK pavilion.

Animal health camps (2011-14)

A cattle infertility/health camp was organised in Vilayoor grama panchayath on 16th July 2011, with the co-operation of the Department of Animal Husbandry in which nearly 20 animals were examined and necessary treatments were given. The participant farmers were trained on proper care and health management of dairy cattle. Another cattle infertility camp was conducted in Nagalassery grama panchyath on 29th November, 2011. Nearly 20 animals were examined for infertility problems and treatments suggested. In the animal health camp conducted at Sreekrishnapuram on 27- 02-13, 14 dairy cattle of 12 farmers were examined and treated.

Observation of important days

 World Environment Day (2010-2014)

As a token of the commitment of KVK towards the cause of environmental protection, the World Environment Day is being observed from 2010. The World Environment Day was celebrated on 5th June 2010 at ‘Ashadeepam ’ Koonathara, a school for mentally challenged children. Farmers of Koonathara Padasekhara Samithi and students and teachers of Govt. High School, Koonathara participated in the programmes in which Dr. Shaji James, P. Programme Co-ordinator KVK delivered a talk on environmental protection. Saplings of various trees were planted in the school premises and were also distributed to the farmers and students who participated.

Sri. B. Pratheesh leader of the Genome Saviour Award winning A k a m p a d a m C h i m p a c h o l a Padasekharasamithi and member of the scientific advisory committee of KVK inaugurated the celebrations at KVK premises in 2013 by planting a tree in KVK premise. Seedlings were distributed to famers and anganwadi workers on the occasion.

The Environment Day of 2014 was observed at Vadakkencherry on June 5th 2014. Sri. Francis Kombara, member of KAU General Council inaugurated the programme. Sri.C. R. Bhavadasan, a leading farmer of the locality and a partner of the technology transfer activities of KVK presided over the function. Dr. Shaji James P., Programme Coordinator gave the message for the day and Dr. Yamini Varma, Assistant Professor delivered the special lecture on Eco friendly plant protection. Dr. M. Israel Thomas led the interactive session and the progressive farmers from Palakkad district shared their views on eco friendly farming. Sri. Mathai M. Mathew of Nenmara was the lead speaker on natural farming.

World Water Day

World water day was observed on 22 March 2013 under the slogan, ‘Water is life’. Students of B.Sc. (Agriculture) from College of Agriculture Vellayani and trainees of Nehru Yuva Kendra participatedin the programme and a ‘Water Quiz’ was also organized.

Nutrition Week 2013

KVK, jointly observed the National Nutrition Week in collaboration with Kerala State Nutrition Board and ICDS Agali with the focal theme ‘Malnutrition- a silent emergency’ on 2nd September 2013. The programme had a major focus on anganwadi workers. KVK Nutrition Garden Kit containing vegetable seeds and seedlings were distributed to all 172 Anganwadies under Agali ICDS.

Awareness programme on safe foods habits and waste management was also conducted at Panthakkal Anganwadi on 4th Sept. 2013 as a part of Nutrition Week celebrations. Nutrition Week programmes concluded with a method demonstration on low cost nutritious foods at Yogeeswaralayam Anganwadi at Melmuri on 7th September 2013.

TV programmes: Doordarshan

Dr. Shaji James P. was invited to answer the farmers queries in the phone –in- programme of Doordarshan on 30th November 2013. Dr. Shaji James along with farmer representatives of SAC participated in different sessions of the interaction programme organized by Thiruvananthapuram doordarshan on 5th and 6th March 2013 at Townhall, Palakkad.The farmer representatives of SAC participated in different sessions.

Farmer Fields Schools (FFS)

The FFS were organised in rice during the period 2009 to 2012 and in vegetables during 2013

A participatory approach to reduce yield gap in rice

Farmer Fields Schools took place in the field, and the field conditions and real field problems defined most of the curriculum. Group decisions on the crop management could be evaluated at the end of season. Thus, the Field School was a school without walls that taught basic agro-ecology and management skills.

The Farmers Field School (FFS) conducted during the period from 2009 to 2012 are shown below:

Sl. No.

Title of FFS

Location

Year

Yield obtained per ha

Before FFS

After FFS

1

Technology integration for targeted yield in rice

Vilathur padasekharam of Thiruvegappura panchayath

2009

3.3

4.3

2.

Technological interventions to bridge the yield gap in Paddy

Koonathara padasekharam of Vaniyamkulam Panchayath

2010

3.2

4.5

3

'Technological interventions to bridge the yield gap in Paddy'

Malampuzha grama panchayath

2011

3.0

4.1

4

Technology Integration for Profitable Rice Production’

Thiruvathira Padesekharam of Olasserry in Kodumbu grama panchayath

2011

3.8

5.5

5

‘Integration of eco friendly technologies in rice production’

Maniserry Padesekharam in Vaniamkulam grama panchayath

2012

3.6

4.8

The programme covers various aspects of rice cultivation such as agronomic techniques, eco friendly pest management practices, field observation and use of machinery for scientific rice cultivation.

KVK technology cafeteria

KVK intervened in all spheres to reduce the yield gaps in rice production through eco friendly technologies for better yield in the FFS conducted areas.

  1. Mechanized package
  2. KAU light trap for pest monitoring
  3. Integrated Nutrient Management
  4. Integrated Pest Management
  5. Trichograma egg card against leaf   folder   and stem borer
  6. Pesudomonas fluorescens for Bacterial Leaf Blight
  7. Beauveria bassiana against leaf folder
  8. Group Dynamics
  9. Package of Vegetable cultivation
  10. Pheromone trap for fruit fly
  11. Integrated Nutrient Management with IIHR Vegetable special
  12. Integrated Pest Management
  13. Pesudomonas fluorescens for  root wilt

KVK played an effective role to demonstrate the newer technologies to farmers. The modern machinery was demonstrated as part of the programme including KAU Helical Blade Puddler, Modern rice transplanting machines, weeding machines etc. The regular field visits by the scientists could enlighten the farmers on various aspects of scientific rice cultivation which in turn paved the way for reducing the use of chemical pesticides simultaneously achieving better yields.

Technologies evolved from KVK programmes and accepted in the Package of Practices of KAU

Two implements developed by Dr. Shaji James P., Programme coordinator of KVK have been accepted in the Package of Practices 2011 of KAU. These  implements were demonstrated  by KVK and based on the satisfactory performance they were accepted. The details are as below:

Udyanamithra

 ‘Udyanamithra’ is a simple hand operated transplanting tool developed for transplanting vegetable seedlings without any transplanting shock. The seedling with the soil core containing the root zone is transferred without any disturbance to a circular pit which is dug by the same tool. The tool is useful for seedlings up to an age of two weeks and about 20-25 seedlings can be transplanted in an hour if the distance is within 10 meters (capacity is variable depending on distance from nursery to pit). The tool is very useful for gap filling of vegetables and for transferring rootstocks to polythene bags.  The cost of the tool is about Rs. 450/-

KAU Helical Blade Puddler

KAU Helical Blade Puddler is an energy efficient tractor drawn implement developed at RARS Pattambi during 1996 for puddling wet lands. If the puddler is used with a cage wheel attached tractor, there is a saving of about 40 % time and a corresponding saving in fuel. The implement is good to avoid over puddling so as to achieve better soil condition suitable for mechanized transplanting.  The other advantages are less distortion of level of the paddy fields and enhanced life of cage wheels. The implement is easy to operate and can be manufactured locally. The cost is about Rs.35,000/- Presently it is being manufactured by Metal Industries Ltd., a Kerala Government undertaking.

Technologies evolved from On-farm trails / externally funded programmes of KVK and recommended in the Pre PoP workshop during 2014

    i. High rate bioreactor : Developed by external funded research programme

 The high rate biogas system viz. Upflow anaerobic hybrid bioreactor is an eco-friendly technology for energy conversion of high volume low strength organic effluents from agro processing industries. The system is less costly compared to similar systems as there is possibility for the use of locally available agricultural byproducts like coconut shells to be utilized as media for cell immobilization. The hydraulic retention time of the system could be reduced to the tune of 4-8 days and a corresponding reduction in digester volume has the advantages of cost and space reduction. The twin advantages are waste management along with energy production.

ii. Portable electric light trap

A portable electric light trap was developed in the On farm Testing programme of KVK Palakkad. The unit was demonstrated successfully in several areas both inside and outside the district. The unit was found suitable to monitor the photo tropic pests like stem borer, leaf roller and rice bug. The system can work for three hours once switched on and will be automatically shut-off. The chargeable 7 Ah lead-acid battery can be removed in the morning and charged using an AC adapter.

Portable light trap costs Rs. 3500/- where as the solar powered units cost much higher. Light traps with incandescent lamps cost around Rs.2500/- but are not portable. They consume more electricity. A 500 W incandescent bulb light trap require 0.6- 0.7 units of electricity per day of operation where as the electricity consumption is only meagre for the KAU portable light trap.

iii. Portable –split biogas plant

The KAU split portable biogas plant is an eco-friendly gadget for energy conversion of domestic organic wastes. The system is more hygienic than the ordinary portable biogas plants. The sealed digester and the gas holder can be kept separately. The system can be fabricated in digester capacities ranging from 500 to 1000 litres. Approximately 50 litres/day of biogas is produced for every kg/day of organic wastes added.

iv. Three roe power weeder for rice

The three power operated paddy weeder was field tested in farmers fields in the On-farm trails of KVK . The implement was found to be suitable for machine transplanted fields at a row spacing of 30 cm. The machine was found to be more women friendly compared to the manually operated cono weeder. An area of 0.02 ha can be operated in one hour by a single labourer using the power weeder. The first operation is to be done at 15 to 20 days after transplanting. A second operation may be done if necessary at 15 days after first operation. No practical damage to rice plants was observed.

v. Rice production machinery

A package of rice production machinery for the 3 major production systems has been accepted.

Machines and implements for Pre-harvest operations:

  1. Dry seeded system

Land preparation:

Primary tillage operations may be undertaken using tractor operated mould board plough, disc plough or disc harrow. Rotary tillage implements like power tiller (rotary tiller) or tractor operated rotavator can ensure better pulverisation and fine tilth for secondary tillage. Tractor operated rotovators are suitable for speedy operation with less energy expenditure. Tractor operated cultivator may also be used for preparatory ploughing to get a coarse tilth.

Seeder attachment to cultivator may be made use of for dry seeding in rows. Line sowing in rows separated by 20 cm can enable optimum plant population and facilitate use of mechanical weeders.

  1. Wet seeded system

Land preparation:   

Cage wheels are attached to power tillers and tractors to enable them to get sufficient traction in wet lands for puddling. KAU Helical blade puddler attached to tractor is an improved equipment for puddling wet lands. About 40-45 % reduction in puddling time and 35-40% reduction in fuel consumption (per ha) can be achieved by the use of this puddler. Rotovator attached to tractor   can also be used for puddling depending on the soil condition.                                                                                                                                                            Seeding: Pre-germinated paddy wet seeder (drum seeder) can be used for line sowing of sprouted seeds in rows.                           

C. Transplanted system                                                                                                       

Equipment for puddling is same as those recommended for wet seeded system.

Transplanting machine:

8 row self propelled riding type  rice transplanter with a row to row spacing of about 23 cm is suitable for Kerala. Field capacities of popular machines vary from 0.1-0.2 ha/h depending on field condition. 

Mat nursery:

Mat type nursery should   be prepared carefully by sowing sprouted seeds on seed beds of about 700 mm width made by  spreading about 12 mm thick soil  layer on a polythene sheet of appropriate length. Mat nursery may be prepared as dry nursery as well as wet. Dry nursery can be prepared on rigid flat surfaces also without using polyethylene sheets. (Refer page 31 for details)

Weeding implements:

Different types of wet land weeders are available. Double rotor cono weeder and Single rotor finger type weeder are commonly used for  wet land weeding. Single rotor weeders are more suitable in heavy soils where cono weeders are difficult to be pushed.

Reaping machine: KAMCO reaper KR 120 is suitable for operation in fairly dry condition. The machine is powered by a petrol start kerosene run 3.5 hp engine. The cutting width is 120 cm and is capable of reaping and windrowing about 0.1-0.25 ha /h depending on field condition.

Threshing machines:

Hold -on type: This is a simple thresher powered with a 1.5 hp electric motor and capable of threshing @ 50-100 kg threshed grain per hour.                                                                            

Flow through Rasp bar thresher:

The cut crop flow through the thresher fitted with rasp bar type of threshing cylinder and is fitted with cleaning mechanism. The machine works on a diesel engine or electric motor in a power range of 5-7.5 hp. This high capacity thresher can thresh about 350-450 kg of grain per hour and can be towed to the field when fitted with pneumatic wheels.

Rice Combine Harvesters:

Track type Flow through thresher combines 

High capacity track type rice combines with flow-through threshing mechanism are suitable for slushy field conditions. The machines are powered with diesel engines of 55-60 hp with a cutting width of 2.4 m and a field capacity of about 0.4 ha per hour. The cut crop is fully conveyed into the threshing unit and the cleaned grain is temporarily stored in the grain tank of about 1 tonne capacity. The bruised straw is discharged to the field and difficult to be bundled.

Track type ear head thresher combine:

Small track type combines with ear head threshers have better maneuverability in small fields. The machines are generally powered by a 30-40 hp diesel engines and have a cutting width of about 140 cm. The cut crop is conveyed by the help of moving fingers and conveyors to the threshing unit so as to hold the ear heads against the rotating threshing cylinder. The straw is not bruised and is windrowed behind in a row. The threshed and cleaned grain can be collected in gunny bags which are held at the sack holder of the machine. It has limitations in highly slushy fields.  Machines with grain tank are also available.

Wheel type combines:

Many wheel type combines manufactured in India are suitable for harvesting paddy when the field is dry enough for their operation. The field capacity is comparable to other high capacity track type combines and their initial cost as well as maintenance cost is comparatively low.

Straw balers:

Two types of balers are available for collection of straw from combine harvested fields, viz. round baler and rectangular baler. Tractor PTO operated round balers are suitable for small fields. Tractor PTO operated offset mounted rectangular straw balers are better suited for large plots of more than 0.2 ha.

Technologies evolved from On- farm trials of KVK and accepted in the ZREAC 2014

 i. Combination implement for direct seeding (dry) and herbicide application in rice

The implement developed by KVK during 2012-14 in the On-farm trials is suitable for simultaneous line seeding  in a row spacing of 20 cm as well as spraying pre-emergent herbicide. This is a labour and time saving implement.

ii. Herbicide applicator attachment to rice transplanter

This low cost gadget was developed to address the problem of weed infestation in transplanted rice. The simple and easy to attach gadget is capable of spraying herbicides simultaneously while transplanting. 

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Address

Krishi Vigyan Kendra
Kerala Agricultural University
Mele Pattambi (P.O.)
Palakkad Kerala 679306
:+91-466-2212279
:+91-466-2212279