ICAR Director-General S. Ayyappan inaugurates the sub-centre of AICRP on groundnut at RARS, Tirupati, on Wednesday.– PHOTO: K.V. POORNACHANDRA KUMAR
The inauguration of a sub-centre for All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on groundnut at the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Tirupati, is all set to take research on this crop to a new high.
S. Ayyappan, Director-General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), inaugurated the facility here on Wednesday on the sidelines of the two-day national conference on ‘Emerging trends in Agri-nanotechnology’ conducted by Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU). The project has been sanctioned with two scientists and three technical assistants with a budgetary allocation of Rs. 98 lakh.
While groundnut research is on as a voluntary activity here, the sanction of a dedicated sub-centre will strengthen research to meet the needs of farmers in the region. In fact, this RARS has so far developed 12 groundnut varieties. As 80 per cent of the 10.13 lakh hectares in which groundnut is grown in the State is rain-fed, which is a major constraint in kharif, the centre has developed drought-resistant, stem rot-tolerant, low light and high yield potential varieties.
Dr. Ayyappan wanted the scientific fraternity to strengthen research to meet the needs of the country’s 100 arid districts which receive less than 500 mm rainfall. On the need to take the biotechnology route to enhance profitability, he lamented that the lone outcome was ‘Bt Cotton’, after research in biotechnology had been initiated ten years ago.
“Every rupee invested in agriculture is yielding returns of Rs.13.50, which is the highest in any sector,” he said, adding that farmers required technology rather than subsidy.
He also gave an account of nanosensors, nanomaterial and nanodiagnostic and their usage in detecting adulterant, population and safety aspects.
ANGRAU Vice-Chancellor A. Padmaraju, Director (Research and Extension) K.Raja Reddy, Associate Director of Research T.Giridhara Krishna, organising secretary T.N.V.K.V. Prasad and principal scientist (genetics and plant breeding) R.P. Vasanthi took part.
A sub-centre for All India Coordinated Research Project on groundnut opened at Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Tirupati