Farm university comes up with high-yielding crops

By TheHindu on 26 May 2018 | read
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The Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has developed 23 new crop varieties.

These include six varieties of rice, four varieties of vegetables, five varieties of nutmeg, two varieties each of cardamom, ginger and yard long bean and one variety each of pepper, tapioca, salad cucumber, sambar melon, garcinia, and plumbago. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will release the new varieties at a function at the KAU on Saturday.

Rice varieties

The rice varieties are Pournami, Manu Ratna, Lavanya, Jyothsana, Supriya and Akshaya. Pournami is a semi-tall, medium-duration (115-120 days) non-lodging medium bold red-kernelled variety developed by S. Leena Kumary and her team at the Rice Research Station (RRS), Moncompu.

Manu Ratna, developed at the Agriculture Research Station (ARS), Mannuthy, by A. Latha, is tolerant to stem borer, leaf folder and whorl maggot, and suitable for normal wetlands of Kerala, including kole land.

Lavanya and Jyotsna are varieties suitable for the coastal saline agro ecosystem, developed at the RRS, Vyttila, by a team led by K.S. Shylaraj. Supriya is a tall and late-maturing (140 days) variety developed at RARS (Regional Agriculture Research Station), Pattambi, by K. Kartthikeyan and team. It is moderately resistant to stem borer, leaf folder, whorl maggot and blast. Akshaya, also from RARS, Pattambi, developed by a team led by Ilangovan, is a long-duration variety resistant to stem borer, leaf folder, whorl maggot and blast disease. Both Pattambi varieties are suited for irrigated or rainfed wetlands.

The culinary melon Vishal, developed by I. Sreelatha Kumary and colleagues at College of Agriculture (CoA), Vellayani, is suitable for warm humid tropics of Kerala. The seedless cucumber hybrid KPCH-1 is suitable for poly house cultivation. The early maturing variety was developed by T. Pradeep Kumar at College of Horticulture, Vellanikkara.

Manjari, the yard long bean developed by Manoj Sebastian and team at RARS, Kumarakom, is ideal for intercropping. Mithra, the other yard long variety was developed at the ARS, Thiruvalla by Beena Thomas and colleagues.


The tapioca variety Uthama developed by Sajeena A. and team at the ARS, Thiruvalla, has cylindrical tubers with light brown skin and white flesh. Nithya, the garcinia variety from RARS, Kumarakom, is suitable for loamy and laterite soils.

The cardamom varieties PV 3 and PV 5 were developed at the CRS, Pampadumpara, by teams led by Dhanya M.K. and Maya T. respectively. PV3 is a Malabar type and tolerant to drought and moderately tolerant to capsule borer. PV5, a vazhukka type, is tolerant to thrips and suitable for cardamom growing tracts of Kerala.

Panniyur 9, developed by Ajith M. and team, is the latest in the famous Panniyur variety chain from PRS, Panniyur, and is tolerant to quick wilt and drought. The ginger varieties Chandra and Chithra were developed by scientists at CoH, Vellanikkara. Both are suitable for moist humus rich soils.

Nutmeg varieties Pullan, Kochukudy, Mundathanam, Poothara and Punnathanam are clonal selections from farmers’ fields in Palakkad, Thrissur, Idukki, Kottayam and Ernakulam districts identified by N. Miniraj and team at CoH, Vellanikkara. The plumbago variety Swathi is collected from Idukki.