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KAU Newsletter April 2017

Published by KAU, 2017-06-07 03:24:50

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Volume XXII. ISSUE 2 April 2017Two more Kerala farmers CM Calls for Innovative ApproachReceive Plant Genome In Agricultural ResearchSaviour awards Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Two farmers from Kerala - T. T. called for an innovative approachThomas, Kanchiyar, Idukki and Reji in agricultural research so thatJoseph, Agali, Palakkad – nominated the emerging challenges can beby KAU IPR Cell received Plant Genome effectively addressed.Saviour Awards (2015) in a functionheld at Champaran, Bihar on April 19. He was speaking after inaugu- With this the persistent presence of rating the Pesticide Residue Analy-Kerala farmers in the annual awardinstituted by PPV & FR Authority, tical laboratory, Guest house,Government of India remainsunbroken. Kerala farmers won the PG laboratory and microbiologyaward in every year since inception.Seven Kerala farmers won the award lab at College of Agriculture,in 2013 and four in 2014. Padannakkad on March 30. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurating the new facilities Seventy Six year old T. T. Thomas isa farmer settled in the Anchuruly region Chief Minister said that know- at CoA, Padannakkadof Iduki. He has been maintaining acollection of 15 pepper genotypes along ledge generated in laboratories promote dry land agriculture and soil lesswith other crop plants including should be used to boost farmers’ farming in the wake of water scarcity and alliedcardamom, coffee, fruit trees, medicinal confidence by enhancing producti- problems.’, He said. Continued on page 5 vity and profitability. Chief Minister also called for voluntary ‘My Government wants to involvement of each and every citizen in Haritha support farming and do whatever Keralam mission which is meant to regain and possible for development of retain the greenery of the state. agriculture. I don’t discount the fact Minister for Agriculture V. S. Sunil Kumar said that KAU has done a lot, but you that KAU has been providing research support can definitely do a lot more. You for agricultural sector. Many a laudable have solved many a problems but achievements have been made and much more many remains to be solved as well. is possible. ‘I am closely monitoring the deve- Innovative research is need of the lopments. Even the latest budget of the university Continued on page 5 hour. For example we have toGC approves 579.57 crore budget INSIDE THE ISSUEThe KAU General Council in its annual tion of library facilities, Online courses to Page 2 Awards & Recognitions, World Water day and Women’s day in KAUmeeting held on 29 March approved support entrepreneurship, Release of new Page 3 Governor Hosts Farmers, New FacilitiesRs. 579.57 crores budget for the year crop varieties including a short duration at Moncompu, Retirement2017-18. drought tolerant rice, Water conservation Page 4 Message from the Vice-ChancellorThe budget was presented by K. Rajan models in university farms, Thrust on Page 5 New Building for Kottayam KVK, IPMMLA in the meeting chaired by KAU Pro- solar power for farm operations, Interna- workshop, Plant Genome awardsChancellor and Minister for Agriculture tional agri exhibition and Farmers’ science congress. Minister Sunil Kumar said that Page 6 Library Programme, NSS awards,V. S. Sunil Kumar. Tuber Crop Seminar & International the government wants the University and delegation visit The budget envisages establishment state department of Agriculture to workof new agricultural colleges at Ambalavayal hand in hand and many of the budget Page 7 Biodiversity Seminar, Session on PAP,and Kumarakom, agri polytechnics in programmes can be implemented jointly. Agri development in Jail Campus.selected locations, Centre for Plant GeneticResources, Upgradation of the Radio Vice-Chancellor Dr. P. Rajendran Page 8 Seminar on Co-Operative Sectotor,Tracer lab, a permanent exhibition unit, assured the house that filling up of Stake holders’ meet on agrometClimate resilient research programme, vacancies of teachers, staff and labourers services, Interface at Pilicode andKAU brand of value added products, will be completed in a time bound manner. Thrissur Pooram Exhibition.research support for vegetable farming The meeting was attended by Execu-in Vattavada-Kanthallur belt and consul- tive Committee members, B. D. Devassytancy support for Haritha Keralam MLA , General Council members, Registrarproject. Dr. S. Leenakumari, Comptroller, FacultyOther important proposals include Deans, Directors and other officers of theModernisation of classrooms, Upgrada- university.

PAGE - 2 KAUNews April 2017AWARDS & RECOGNITIONSDr. P. Suresh Kumar, Professor and Head, Dr. Gavas Ragesh, Assistant Professor, AICRP on Fruits, BRS,Radiotracer Laboratory, KAU bagged the Kannara has been awarded the Best Research Paper prizeS. N. Ranade Memorial Senior Scientist in the National Seminar on Natural Resources ManagementAward for Excellence in Micronutrient for Horticultural Crops under Changing Climatic ConditionsResearch for the year 2017. The award was held at CWRDM, Kozhikode on 16th & 17th March, 2017.presented in the three day workshop onAICRP on Micro, Secondary and Pollutant His research work titled Biology and Management of BananaElements held at Indian Institute of Soil Skipper butterfly (Erionota torus Evans 1941): An emergingScience, Bhopal during March 21-23. threat to Banana cultivation in India was chosen the Best from among scientists representing various ICAR institutes, SAUsDr. P. Suresh Kumar was unanimously selected for the award and Research Organizations of the country. He was selectedinstituted by the Institute for Micronutrient Technology in based on the excellence in plant protection research inview of his contribution on micronutrients research, especially unraveling the species identity, developing various IPMwith respect to soil scenario in Kerala. strategies under ICAR-AICRP on Fruits Research Project, especially bio-control agents against banana skipperDr. P. Suresh Kumar has more than 50 research papers to his butterfly, a major emerging pest of Banana in He is the winner of Young Scientist Award 1995. Hissignificant contribution includes unraveling the chemistry and Dr. K. P. Prameela, Dr. Meera V. Menon and Dr. T. Girija,fertility of soils with respect to P, Zn, Fe, and B in tropical acid Professors, CoH, Vellanikkara received the Best Postersoil of Kerala, soil test based crop specific recommendations Presentation Award in the Biennial Conference of Indianand current strategies for Soil Health Management and Society of Weed Science held at MPUAT, Udaipur from 1-3,development of Soil Health Cards for Kerala farmers. March 2017. The award was for the poster titled Evaluation of non-chemical weed management techniques in brinjalRanasalva N., Ph.D Scholar and Dr. K. P. Sudheer, Professor, presented by them.KCAE & T received the best paper award in the NationalSeminar on Biodiversity Conservation and Farming Systems Akhil Ajith, PG scholar and Dr. N. Kishore Kumar, Professor,for Wetland Ecology” held at RARS, Kumarakom on 22-23, CoA, Vellayani won the Best Paper award in the workshopFebruary 2017. The award winning paper was on Comparison on Farmer Producer Companies: Status & Strategies forof atmospheric and vacuum deep fat frying on product quality sustainable functioning organised at Agricultural College andfor selected vegetables. Research Institute, TNAU, Madurai during 20-21, March 2017. The award was for their paper on Sanghamaithri- An innovativeDr. Ameena M., Assistant Professor, CoA, Vellayani received approach for sustainable livelihood for Kerala farmers.the Best Poster Award In the Third National BiodiversityCongress organised by Kerala State Biodiversity Board atGovernment Guest House, Thycaud during February 23-24.Versatile events mark KAU Honours EntrepreneursWorld Water Day On Women’s day A series of awareness programmes were organised by KAU KAU chose to honour successful women entrepreneursto commemorate World Water Day on March 23. on the Women’s day. At the programme held at Thrissur Press club presentations Latha Vijaya, Sumila Jayaraj, Latha Raveendran, Rekha P. T.on water scarcity and ill effects of climate change were made and Latha Santhosh who used agri related technologies toby Dr. P. Indiradevi, Head, Academy for Climate Change Education foster entrepreneurship and raise income to sustain the familyand Research and Dr. C. S. Gopakumar, Scientific Officer. KAU were honoured in the function inaugurated by Director ofDirector of Extension Dr. S. Estelitta delivered Key Note Address. Extension Dr. S. Estelitta. In another programme aimed at water literacy awareness A talk on Legal Protection for Women by C. Mujib Rahman,held at the University main campus e-DID (electronic tool for Sub judge, District Legal Services Authority was also arrangedDrip Irrigation Design) software developed by Department of in connection with the event.Agricultural Engineering, CoH was launched online. The softwareprovides all assistance for drip irrigation system including The function presided over by Director of Students’ Welfareinformation on cost and benefit when prompted with crop, Dr. T. I. Manoj was attended by General Council membersarea and place. The software will be available on the web Dr. Jiju P. Alex and Dr. A. Prema, ATIC Head Dr. Sreevalsan J.address Director of Extension Dr. S. Estelitta, CoH Menon and Cocoa Research Centre Head Dr. B. Suma,Associate Dean Dr. George Thomas, Dr. K. P. Visalakshy and Dr. Smitha Baby proposed vote of thanks.Dr. P. K. Suresh Kumar spoke. Cyber Crime Awareness An awareness programme was organised by CommunicationCentre, Mannuthy. Exhibition on water literacy and irrigation In another programme in connection with Women’s daywater management and classes on water use efficiency and organised by the KAU Centre for Gender Studies and Farmirrigation techniques like drip irrigation, wick irrigation and rain Entrepreneurship Development (CGSFED), Cyber Crimewater harvesting were the highlights. Dr. S. Estelitta, Dr. Investigator Dr. Dhanya Menon delivered a talk on CyberAlexander George, Dr. Binoo P. Bonny and Dr. S. Helen spoke. Crime: Awareness and Prevention. The programme was inaugurated by KAU Registrar Dr. S. Leena Kumari in a function presided over by Dr. P. S. Geethakutty, Prof. & Head, CGSFED.

April 2017 KAUNews PAGE - 3A Rare and Unique Get-togetherGovernor hosts Award Winning FarmersThe Plant Genome Saviour awardees with Hon’ble Governor Justice P. Sathasivam, Vice-Chancellor Dr. P. Rajendran and KAU Officials The Farmers could believe it only after the event was over. regarding their unique activities. He honoured the farmers withWhile getting access to Rajbhavan itself is a rare privilege, shawls and spent time with them to exchange ideas aboutgetting an audience with the Hon’ble Governor and spending farming.time with him was a unique honour for the fourteen Keralafarmers who won prestigious Plant Genome Saviour Awards. The farmers were in awe and admiration of Justice Sathasivam and appreciated his sincere approach to farming and affection The rare rendezvous on February 10 was made possible for farmers. They took home sweet memories of a rare unionby the magnanimity of Hon’ble Governor who reciprocated with the inimitable Governor who opened the gates ofpositively to the request of KAU V ice-Chancellor Dr. Rajbhavan to the farmers for the first time in history. They alsoP. Rajendran, appreciating the pertinence and importance of thanked KAU and staff of Rajbhavan for providing them withthe Plant Genome Saviour Award as well as Kerala’s substantial this proud privilege.share in the awards. In addition to the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar Dr. S. Leenakumari, Governor Justice P. Sathasivam, who is also the Chancellor Director of Extension Dr. S. Estelitta, Director of Researchof KAU appeared happy and enthusiastic in agreeing to meet Dr. Sajan Kurien and IPR Cell Coordinator Dr. C. R. Elsy wereand greet the award winners and talking to each of them also present in the event.New facilities at Moncompu RRS inaugurated Dr. V. B. Padmanabhan RetiresThe laboratory, Farm mechanisation address highlighted the role of scientific Dr. V. B. Padmanabhan, Associate Director of Extension (SR) and Head,training centre, seed store and sales farming practices in redressing challenges Department of Agricultural Extension, CoA, Vellayani retired from service oncounter at RRS, Monompu was inaugu- posed by climate change. superannuation on March 31.rated by Kodikkunnil Suresh MP on The function presided over by DistrictFebruary 10. Panchayat President G. Venugopal was Dr. Padma- nabhan enteredThe new facilities are bound to attended by Champakkulam Block KAU Service in 1979. He hasenhance the technical support for Panchayat President Poly Thomas, Grama several publi- cations to hisfarming and farmers in Kuttanad, Panchayat President George Mathew credit and hasKodikunnil Suresh observed. He also Panjimaram, KAU General Council member guided nine Post Graduate and two Ph.D Scholars. A proponent of Terraceurged the University and Government to Rajiv Nellikunnel, KAU Director of Research farming, he was part of first phone in Agriculture programme fromprovide more facilities at Moncompu so Dr. Sajan Kurian, Director of Physical Plant Thiruvananthapuram AIR and also the first Agricultural programme on DD,that it can serve as a centre for excellence Dr. V. R. Ramachandran, LSGI members, Malayalam.for Kuttanad mode of farming. farmers and officials of line departments Minister for Agriculture V.S. Sunil as well as CPWD. KAU Registrar Dr. S.Kumar in his message said that RRS, Leena Kumari welcomed the gatheringMoncombu has excelled in lending and Kumarakom RARS Associate Directortechnological support for farmers in Dr. D. Ambika Devi proposed vote of thanks.Kuttanad. Dr. M. S. Swaminathan also A seminar on paddy farming was alsograced the event with his message. Vice- organised in connection with the progra-Chancellor Dr. P. Rajendran in his keynote mme.

PAGE - 4 KAUNews April 2017Message from the Vice - chancellorLet’s be a bit innovative It is a fact that more people are involved in small scalecultivation than extensive farming. Small holdings of maximumtwenty cent size are more common and fifty percent of themare below ten cents. This is particularly true in urban/peri urbansetup where effective area available for cultivation in ahomestead is between one and three cents from whichvegetables and seasonal fruits for a five member family canbe produced with a systematic and scientific approach. The hallmark of homely production of fruits and vegetablesis their safe to eat character. It is easier to adopt organic farmingpractices in such small holdings and an integrated farmingmodel would do wonders. For example a small 10 m2 fishtank integrated with a small poultry/vegetable unit in thehomestead will assure sustainable nutrient supply to the familyas well as effective recycling of water. Thus, in our land scarcestate, it is necessary to devise innovative approaches in plantproduction and protection to ensure the involvement ofotherwise employed and earning people in farming. Judicious and timely adoption of Plant protection measures and fertilisers still holds the key in farming. These twofactors also ensure that the farm produce get the 'safe to eat' tag, while cutting agricultural non-point source pollutionand making it more green in nature. Indiscriminate use of fertilisers and chemicals is not only labour intensive but is alsocostly and lead to wastage and environmental pollution. Need based and judicious approach saves labour, time, cost andresources. It is in this context that the relevance of 'ready to use' agri inputs being prepared by Kerala Agricultural Universitygains significance. Balanced combinations of plant nutrients in encapsulated form are very easy to handle, cost effective,ecofriendly and create a healthy soil-plant-animal-man continuum. In addition to major and micro nutrients, soil amendments,bio fertilisers and bio control agents can also be made available in ready to use form. Such products not only becomeattractive to handle, but also reduces farm based drudgeries to considerable extent. The University has already started the preparation of fertiliser sticks as well as nutrients in granular and liquid forms.Nutrient tablets, balls, capsules, ampules and sachets will follow suit. Quality control is a considerable challenge in themanufacturing process. Equally important is the dissemination of the correct know-how to clients. If either of these keysteps falter, it will fail to achieve the desired effect. Though these realities have slowed down our efforts, the confidencewe gained will help us to experiment more and further progress seems easier and quicker. Concentrated nutrient stock solutions for foliar applications in different types of-cucurbitaceous, solanaceous, leafyvegetables and ornamental plants can be standardised in organic base or gel base and supplied in ampules or sachets.Plant protection agents like Bordeaux mixture and paste, Chesnutt compound etc. can be made available in tubes. Sachetsor ampules for easy use like toothpaste. Soil amendments like Quick lime, Sweet lime, Gypsum, Rock Phosphate etc. canbe presented in ball/cake forms. Manure discs enriched with nutrients developed by KAU is another option. These innovative formulations, meanwhile, has the potential to generate employment opportunities. Once theformulations are standardised under scientific supervision, presenting them in sachets, ampules or in tablet or pellet formcan be entrusted with skilled labour force. NGOs and Women SHGs can perform this role under supervision of scientistsand packing part can be developed as a rural industry. This enhances the financial viability of the exercise as well. Altogether the innovative initiative by the University is a significant step in enhancing productivity, improving soilquality, encouraging small scale farming and ensuring environmental protection. I trust the initiative to gather momentumafter the initial phase and would help to popularise farming in the urban and peri urban set up, leading to food andnutritional security at community levels, which in turn will spread to state and national level.

April 2017 KAUNews PAGE - 5Proper Implementation of Farmer continued from page 1Welfare schemes a priority: Minister CM Calls for Innovation Minister inaugurates Kottayam KVK Building of Universities concerned is in Agricultural Research planned for this. The government Minister for Agricultural Development and also wants to involve people’s has proposed release of new cropFarmers’ Welfare V. S. Sunil Kumar inaugurated representatives in all develop- varieties including short duration ricethe new Office cum lab complex of Kottayam mental programmes and prevent cultivars tolerant to drought andKVK on March 10 in a function presided over by misuse and exploitation of welfare establish a Plant Genetic ResourcesK. Suresh Kurup MLA. schemes. We have requested for Centre to facilitate conservation of more KVKs in Kerala even while germplasms of all native varieties. ’he The minister, in his inaugural address, called assuring strengthening and said after laying the foundation stoneupon the farming community to take advantage coordinating existing KVKs.’, he for a centre for protected cultivation.of the welfare measures announced for them in said. Sunil Kumar also announcedthe state budget. that the demand for Agricultural Minister for Revenue E. Chandra- Colleges at Kumarakom and sekharan presided over the function. ‘Farmer welfare schemes in state budget Ambalavayal will be favourably P. Karunakaran MP spoke about theshould be made use of. Steps to ensure proper considered. dire needs of the college and KAUimplementation of schemes proposed by Central Vice-Chancellor Dr. P. Rajendranand State governments will be ensured. A meeting C. K. Asha MLA, Vice-Chancellor delineated the utility of new facilities.of the ministers in charge of Agriculture, Animal Dr. P. Rajendran, ATARI (Bengaluru) Kanjhangad Municipality ChairmanHusbandry and Fisheries and Vice-Chancellors Director Dr. Srinath Dixith, KAU Rameshan; Nileswaram Municipality Executive Committee member Dr. Chairman K. P. Jaya Raj; District C. N. Ravishankar, General Council Panchayat President A. G. C. Basheer; members Dr. Jiju P. Alex, Dr. LSGI representatives; Dr. A. Anil Kumar, A. Prema and Rajiv Nellikkunnel, Dean (Agriculture); Dr. Sajan Kurien, Registrar Dr. S. Leenakumari, Director of Research; Dr. V. R. Director of Research Dr. Sajan Ramachandran, Director of Physical Kurian, Director of Physical Plant Plant; Dr. R. Krishnakumar, Controller Dr. V. R. Ramachandran and LSGI of Examinations ; Dr. R. Sujatha, ADR, representatives spoke. Director of Coconut Mission and Dr. M. Govindan, Extension Dr. S. Estelitta offered Associate Dean participated. M. welcome and KVK Head Dr. Rajagopalan MLA welcomed the G. Jayalakshmi proposed vote of gathering and Associate Director, thanks. Pilicode RARS, Dr. P. R. Suresh proposed vote of thanks.Workshop on IPM measures continued from page 1 Centre for Rapid action to Manage Crop epidemics, Plant Genome awardsCommunication Centre, Mannuthy organised aworkshop on integrated pest and disease plants and orna-mental plants in hismanagement on March 29. farm. Thomas identified a pepper cultivar, with branching of spikes, The centre aims at timely forecast of pest attacks conserved it and named it as Pepperand crop epidemics, said Dr.S.Estelitta, Director of Thekkan. He was bestowed withExtension. ‘A crop epidemics diagnostic laboratory has National Innovation Foundationbeen set up at the communication centre to validate Award (2012) and ICAR innovativeinferences obtained during field inspections.’, she told farmer award of 2015.the farmers. ‘Advisory services based on the lab resultswill be pursued for control and containment of crop Thomas has developed an T.T. Thomas & Reji Josephpests and disease infestation. Monthly technology innovative method for breeding of at the award functionbulletins will be disseminated through media for Giant Gourami fish throughout thefarmers’ benefit.’, she said. year. He has also developed a genotypes along with other nematicide for the control of crop plants including 6 types of The workshop was conducted to sensitize the public nematodes affecting cardamom. An Kuvalam (Aeglemarmelos), 28about identifying of the symptoms of pest attack, expert in grafting the pepper plants specious of medicinal plants,diseases and nutrient deficiencies. Prophylactic and with Piper colubrinum plants to resist local types of sandal apart fromcurative measures to manage them were also quick wilt, Thomas has also develo- local breeds of goat like. Hisdiscussed. Participants were made aware of the ped a pest trap for the sucking pests farm named as Gooseberryimportance of soil fertility, pest and disease of cardamom and a bio-pesticide land is also a Centre for Naturemanagement. Emphasis was given for organic and from the leaves of Ocimum. club activities and obtainedbiological management methods. Around 80 farmers organic farming certificate fromfrom various parts of Kerala got benefited from Reji Joseph is maintaining a INDOCERT during 2010-2015.deliberations in the workshop. collection of 22 gooseberry (Amla)

PAGE - 6 KAUNews April 2017Minister highlights Power of Best NSS Unit AwardKnowledge Centres for CoA, Padannakkad Minister for Agriculture V. S.Sunilkumar has said that knowledgeis the greatest force in the world. Speaking after inaugurating the Minister V.S.Sunil Kumar inaugurates the Minister E. Chandrasekharan distributes thedevelopmental programmes of development programmes of KAU Library Best NSS Volunteer awardKAU Central Library on March 25,the minister pointed out that fascist CoA, Padannakkad received theforces have always tried to NYLP Award 2015-16 for the outsta-shutdown sources of knowledge to nding NSS Units instituted by the Unionfoster their interests. Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. ‘The persistent attempt of fascist forces, new and old, to keep man away from Minister for Revenue E. Chandra-knowledge centers and thinkers prove that knowledge is the force they fear most. sekharan distributed the awards in theSocieties which succumbed to their control remained static while those societies function presided over by Kanhangadwhich embraced knowledge progressed. The Renaissance in Kerala, for example, Muncipal Chairman V. V. Rameshan onused the light of library movement to march ahead.’, he said. 18 March. While the award plaque for the best NSS unit was received by the The library becomes meaningful when its resources are put to maximum use. Associate Dean, CoA, Sangeetha K. G.I also want traditional farm wisdom to be preserved in the library along with modern received award for best NSS Progra-knowledge banks, Minister said. Sunil Kumar also released the annual magazine of mme Officer and Eldho Shaju andAcademy for Climate Change Education and Research. Muhammed Suhaib Ismayil received the award for best NSS Volunteers. KAU Vice-Chancellor Dr. P. Rajendran in his presidential address stressed theimportance of library in advanced learning and research. Executive Committee Kanjhangad Municipal Chairman,members Dr. Jose Joseph and Aji Francis, Registrar Dr. S. Leenakumari, University Prof. K. P. Jayaraj, DSW Dr. T. I. Manoj,Union President Adarsh C. Soori and Librarian A. T. Francis spoke. Controller of Examinations Dr. R. Krishna Kumar and Associate Director Dr. P. R. Suresh participated.Seminar on tuber crops International Delegation at KAUat ARS, Mannuthy Twenty five International delegates visited KAU to gather a first hand A seminar on tuber crops was organised at ARS knowledge on potential women friendly enterprise technologies floatedMannuthy on March 23 as part of the Station’s by the University.Centenary year. The delegates from Ghana, Afghanistan, Mozambique, Kenya, Liberia, N. M. Shaji, Who won National award for Malawi, Mongolia and Uganda had a interaction with the Vice-Chancellor conservation of Tuber crops being honoured to begin with and later visited various units in the main campus. The benefits of tuber crop diet and the vastvarieties of tuber crops ideal for intercropping was Vice-Chancellor Dr. P. Rajendran told the visitors that Kerala has andelineated by experts and lead farmers. KAU excellent model of women involvement in development and entrepre-Registrar Dr. S. Leenakumari inaugurated the seminar. neurship programmes. ‘Sixty percent of active human resources inN. M. Shaji, who won Plant Genome Saviour award agriculture belong to the fair sex in Kerala. Unique models for womenfor conservation of tubers was honoured at the empowerment developed in KAU can be replicated in your countries.’,function. he said. An exhibition of tuber varieties held beside theseminar was inaugurated by Director of Extension Dr. P. S. Geethakutty, Prof. & Head, Centre for Gender Studies andDr. S. Estelitta. Pattambi ADR Dr. M. C. Narayanan Farm Entrepeunership Development, coordinated the visit. The delegatesKutty, ARS Head Dr. A. Latha, Dr. U. Sreelatha and visited the Wood museum at College of Forestry, processingDr. U. Jaikumaran spoke. department and Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Molecular Biology at College of Horticulture, Food Security Army Training and Development unit at ARS, Mannuthy and Cashew Apple Processing Unit at Cashew research Station, Madakkathara. “We have gained a lot from this visit.’ Said Ms. Kollie Kona Sarah, Extension Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Liberia. ‘Some of these practices are pertinent to our native countries and we would be happy to collaborate with KAU for training and advice.’, she said. Mr. Tubwangye Samuel, from Department of Agricultural Extension, Uganda expressed keen interest in student and faculty exchange programme and training in agro processing.

April 2017 KAUNews PAGE - 7Call for Collective effort Earth Day CelebratedTo Conserve Wetland Ecosystems The Students, Staff and Faculty The two day national seminar on Biodiver- Dr. Suresh Das delivering Inaugural address of ACCER celebrated the Earthsity conservation and farming systems for at Bio diversity seminar Day 2017 on April 22. Dr. B.wetland ecology organised by RARS, Manikiam, Professor at theKumarakom on 22 and 23 March was Kumarakom also has several research Bangalore University and formerinaugurated by KSCSTE Executive Vice achievements. These findings should be Scientist, Atmospheric SciencePresident Dr. Suresh Das. used for the benefit of farmers.’ he said. Division, ISRO was the chief guest. Dr. Das stressed the need of a collective KFRI Director Dr. B. S. Corrie IFS In his talk on Satellite Applica-effort for conservation of wetland ecosystems. delivered the key note address. KAU tions in Climate Change, Dr.’The considerable increase in number of Registrar Dr. S. Leena Kumary and IRTC Manikiam stressed the need topeople recognizing the importance of climate Director Dr. K. G. Padmakumar spoke. protect our mother Earth for thechange is appropriate and welcome. Director of Research Dr. Sajan Kurien future generations. He explainedDeliberations at various levels will facilitate a welcomed the gathering and the impacts of climate changepositive change. The key challenges are Kumarakom ADR Dr. D. Ambika Devi across the globe in general andproductivity enhancement reducing the stress proposed vote of thanks. over India in particular.on natural resources, shortage of arable landand population density.’ he said. Dr. Manikiam delineated various types of satellites and KAU Vice - Chancellor Dr. P. Rajendran in their role in weather forecastinghis presidential address pointed out that and highlighted the need to studyKuttanad is a permutation of unique and fragile satellite meteorology to under-ecosystems closely linked to rivers. stand the applications of satellite‘Unhindered water flow has been hampered and to understand satelliteby unscientific bund constructions. Drastic imageries so as to explore thedecline in paddy productivity and pollution area of weather forecasting.of water bodies are serious issues to be Further, Dr. Manikiam briefed toaddressed. Several PG-Ph.D thesis about the the students about job opportu-problem soils in Kuttanad and the manage- nities in climate science and alliedment of the same are available in KAU. RARS sectors at national and internati- onal level.Brainstorming Session moots Review of PAPAgreement Agricultural Programme for Jail Inmates launched A brainstorming session on Parambikulam – Aliyar (PAP)Agreement held at KAU mooted a relook at the whole project Minister for Agriculture V. S. SunilKumar inaugurated theand agreement with conservation of western Ghats as the Amruthodyanam Punarujjeevanam project designed by ARS,prime focus. Mannuthy at Viyyur Jail compound on February 4. Speaking after inaugurating the project and releasing theThe session was jointly organized by Academy for Climate potential credit plan of NABARD, Sunil Kumar called upon theChange Education & Research, Centre of Excellence in Environ- banking institutions to ensure that the funds earmarked formental Economics and Kerala State Centre for Policy farmers’ Welfare is not channeled for unproductive purposes.Dialogue on Water Conflicts to de-mystify the complex project Minister also.and agreement to facilitate a better understanding of theissue, evaluate the current agreement against National/ Minister pointed out that major portion of amounts set apartInternational norms/practices and explore the way forward for farm loans through banks is being utilised for agriculturalin view of the technological and social dimensions of the gold loans and it does not benefit the farmer per se.projects and its fallout. ‘Real Farmer doesn’t have gold to pledge and those who pledge large quantities of gold to avail low interest loans areSpeakers pointed out that before the implementation of not real farmers. Government wants to put an end to such misusePAP, entire yield from the respective tributaries of Periyar, of amounts earmarked for farmers’ benefits I urge NABARD toChalakudypuzha and Bharathapuzha used to flow westward. take stringent measures in this regard.’, Minister said.‘The existing PAP agreement, does not have a validity period.The provision for reviewing the agreement once in 30 years Minister lauded the programme launched for exhaustivehas not never been invoked because the review is not explicitly agricultural development of jail campus and hoped that themandatory. We have to find a way out and address the issue programme would benefit the jail inmates as well as the publicafresh in the light of definitely declining trends in rainfall and through production of safe to eat vegetables and allied products.consequent environmental damage’, They said. NABARD General Manager P. Balachandran presided over the function held on February 4. District Collector Dr. Kausigan,They also opined that the issue should be viewed in the KAU Director of Extension Dr. S. Estelitta, Jail Superintendentlarger perspective of inter basin multi river water management Vinod Kumar, NABARD DGM Deepa S. Pillai, Lead Bank Managerfor the environmentally fragile locations not merely as an Kanakambaran, Municipal Councilor Suresh Kumar, ARS headinterstate dispute. Dr. A. Latha and Jail Welfare Officer Shyamalakumari participated.

PAGE - 8 KAUNews April 2017Farmer Interface Seminar on Professionalism in Co-operative sectorAt RARS, Pilicode Minister bats for enhancing efficiency RARS, Pilicode and Doordarshan Kendra,Trivandrum jointly organised a farmer interface Minister for Cooperation andprogramme on 13 & 14 February 2017. The pro- Tourism KadakampalliSurendran hasgramme was inaugurated jointly by K. R. Beena, said that enhancing professionalismProgramme Head, DDK, Thiruvananthapuram. in Co-operative sector is highlyDr. P. R. Suresh, Associate Director, RARS, Pilicode pertinent in the evolving scenario.presided over the function. Speaking at the Valedictor y Minister for Cooperation Kadakampalli The features of the event were technical function of Seminar on Need for Surendran speaking at KAU seminarsessions on Traditional crop varieties, Malabari Professionalising Co-operative sectorgoat and kasaragod dwarf animal breeds, Rice organised by KAU Students’ Union for co-operative sector. Governmentyear in Kerala – scope and importance, Drought the minister said that mushroo-ming is bound to support and encouragemanagement strategies for Kerala’s agriculture, of small banks and smart banks in such institutions.’, he said. TheFuture of coconut farming in Kerala, Central nooks and corners throws up new minister also said that the Keralagovernment and state government schemes in challenges to co-operative sector. Bank, mooted in co-operativeagriculture and allied sectors and Suitable platform will fill the vacuum createdagricultural developmental models for Kerala. ‘I don’t think that professionalism by SBT’s merger with SBI. is totally absent in Kerala’s Co- The sessions were guided by KAU scientists, operative sector. It has its own KAU Registrar Dr. S. Leenaexperts from CPCRI, Kasaragod and officials from strengths with which it could tide over Kumary presided over the function.state Departments of Agriculture, Animal many challenging situations including KAU General Council members V. S.Husbandry and Soil conservation. The technical the crisis built up after demone- Sathyaseelan, C. H. Muthu andsessions were followed by farmers interactions. tization. Yet we have to prepare for Thouseena, KAU Students’ Union the challenges ahead. Co-operative President Adarsh C. Soori, DirectorKAU Pavilion at Thrissur sector too has to gear up and enhance of Students’ Welfare Dr. T. I. Manoj,Pooram Exhibition its efficiency, technical competence CCBM Associate Dean Dr. Moly and versatility. It is in this context the Joseph and student representative KAU pavilion in Thrissur pooram exhibition role of academia becomes relevant. I Aswathi spoke.was inaugurated by Executive Committee member reckon the contributions of KAU in theK. Rajan MLA in a function presided over by Vice- field of developing human resourceChancellor Dr. P. Rajendran on April 11. Stake holders’ meet calls for Strengthening of Agromet Advisory Systems The state level meeting of stake but their habitats as well. ‘The holders on agro meteorological detrimental effects of human inter- advisory services in Kerala held at ventions in nature are so grave that CoH, Vellanikkara on 17 February all other living beings will rejoice if recommended strengthening agromet humanity becomes extinct. Being advisory system in the state. responsible for the climate change Formation of Block level committees we have to shoulder the responsi- to implement agro met recommenda- bility to mitigate illefects of it also.’, tions, district level agro met services he said. through KVKs, use of all media and Director of Research Dr. Sajan Cable TV network for effective delivery Kurien in his Keynote address Inauguration of KAU Pavilion in Thrissur Pooram Exhibition of messages reframing of advisories stressed the need of an impact study The pavilion created on theme integrated to include micro climatic variations on agromet advisor y services.farming features homestead farming model,water efficient irrigation methods, Aquaponics, and convergence of efforts through ‘Strengths and weaknesses ofwater harvesting and vertical farming. A bookon soil types in Kerala authored by Dr. P. K. different agencies are some of the existing system should be analysed.Sushama was also released in the functionattended by Registrar Dr. S. Leena Kumari, steps mooted in the meeting. Accuracy of inputs invariably influenceDirector of Extension Dr. S. Estelitta, Commu-nication Centre Head Dr. Binoo P. Bony and CTI Madakkathara Panchayat President accuracy of output.’, he said.Head Dr. Alexander George among others. P. S. Vinayan inaugurated the event in IMD Deputy Director General a function presided over by Dr. S. S. B. Thampi outlined the programme. Leena Kumari, KAU Registrar. Vinayan S. Sudevan, Head, Thiruvananthapuram pointed out that all other living beings Meteorological Centre, CoH Associate and their habits remain unchanged but Dean Dr. George Thomas and Dr. humans not only changed the habits B. Ajithkumar spoke. Printed and Published by Dr. S. Estelitta, Director of Extension, Kerala Agricultural University. KAUP 122/350/05/2017 Editor: B.Ajitkumar, Public Relations Officer, KAU. Printed at KAU Press, Mannuthy

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