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Kerala farmer Aniyamma Baby develops innovative way to protect cashew gardens

Written by  Published in Industry Thursday, 28 September 2017 10:45
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The area under cashew cultivation is highest in India among cashew growing countries, at around a million hectares. But the production of cashew is hampered by biotic as well as abiotic factors.

Kerala farmer Aniyamma Baby from Kannur has come up with an innovative practice called “Cashew Multiple Rooting Propagation Method” that aims to protect cashew gardens from borer attacks and cyclonic storms, the science and technology ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The area under cashew cultivation is highest in India among cashew growing countries, at around 1 million hectares. But the production of cashew is hampered by biotic as well as abiotic factors.

Stem and root borer is one of the most damaging pests for cashew crops. It can destroy even matured trees.

The ministry said cashew nut plantations in coastal areas are also affected by frequent cyclones. Each such devastation requires over 10 years for cashew plants to be restored, the ministry said.

The ministry said Aniyamma Baby has developed the method to generate multiple roots in a grown-up cashew tree, thus improving production per unit area.

“It helps eco-friendly management of stem-and-root borers, restores productivity, provides strong anchorage against wind damage and cyclonic storms, and it extends the plantation lifespan without the necessity of replanting,” the ministry said.

Aniyamma Baby’s experiments for this technique have been successful, the ministry said, adding, “She has been using this method in her old cashew plantations for the last seven years to support her family with a continual supply of high cashew produce.”

The National Innovation Foundation, an autonomous organisation, has taken up Baby’s innovative technique for support and incubation activities.

The Directorate of Cashew Research (Puttur) and Kerala Agriculture University studied and approved the technique last year.

“It has been found to be unique and provides anchorage against wind damage or cyclonic storms, and restores cashew trees from a severe attack of cashew stem-and-root borers in a very eco-friendly and cost-effective way,” the ministry said.

It added that the technology offers “new hope to the cashew growers having old cashew gardens to realise additional yield”. Source : ht

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