The closely packed golden corn in the cob, wet from the morning drizzle, shone in the sun.
The shining grains reflected the success of a farming adventure at the on-farm testing field in the backyard of the residential complex of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute at Thevara.
It was at the behest of the Farm Science Centre (Krishi Vigyan Kendra) of India that the farming of maize (sweet corn) was undertaken on an experimental basis in Kochi.
The farming experiment was carried out using a high yielding variety of Rajasthan-PAC-712, which was brought from the Udaipur Agricultural University. The yield from the farming trial was estimated as 40 quintals per acre, said C. Ramachandran, senior scientist of the institute who is also the programme coordinator of the centre.
The yield from the trials matched the production from the traditional farmlands in other parts of the country, he said.
The institute plans to extent organic farming practice in the space available at the complex, said G. Syda Rao, director of the institute, who inaugurated the maize harvest.
Maize is one of the most important cereal crops in the global agriculture economy both as a food crop and fodder. It is grown in a commercial scale in almost all States of India except Kerala. As part of the trial, the crop has also been raised in Mookkannore and Kothamangalam.
The variety farmed here matures in 70 days in Kerala, said Shoji J Edison, the horticulture expert of the centre. A farmer can get an income of Rs. 2,000 from farming on a two-cent plot. The centre has already sold corn worth Rs. 1,000 in the local market, he said. Maize can be raised as an intercrop in coconut gardens and can be used as a food and fodder crop. It can be grown as an organic crop as no pesticides and chemical fertilizers are needed.
Being a sturdy crop, it has almost no pests and diseases. It can also be grown in backyard gardens where the novelty of the crop gives it an ornamental value too. More details can be had on: 9446129341.