The Krishi Bhavan under the Agriculture Department at Vadakarapathy near here is promoting elma pathogenic nematodes, known in Malayalam as Nima Vira, to fight pests attacking banana leaves and fruits.
The nematodes are harmless to human beings and they can ensure cent per cent organic cultivation, says Gavas Ragesh, agriculture scientist at the Banana Research Centre of Kerala Agricultural University at Kannara, who developed the nematodes.
Mr. Gavas and his team started applying elma pathogenic nematodes in the banana plantation of farmer Shanmughan at Vadakarapathy on Wednesday. Panchayat president Kuzhanthair Teresa inaugurated the initiative.
Agriculture Department Assistant Director Gireesh Kumar, who was present on the occasion, said the bio-alternative would be promoted widely among farmers in the State on an urgent basis.
Mr. Gavas said the nematodes were developed through intense research. They can be released to five months old banana plants. They will fight and kill pests. The nematodes also can be applied on sugarcanes, coconut trees, cardamom fields and cashew plantations.