Focus to be on research on plant tissue culture
Minister for Horticulture Shamanur Shivashankarappa inaugurated the Biotechnology Centre at the farm of the Department of Horticulture at Vidya Nagar here on Tuesday. The Centre, established at a cost of Rs. 8 crore, will undertake study and research on plant tissue culture and cultivation of mushrooms. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shivashankarappa asked the scientists serving at the Centre to maintain an intimate relationship with farmers. The fruits of study and research on agriculture and horticulture should reach farmers. He called upon officials of the Department of Horticulture to create awareness on schemes launched to promote mechanisation of farming.
Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly Kagodu Thimmappa called upon officials of the Department of Horticulture to encourage farmers in the Malnad region to adopt mixed cropping in arecanut plantations. Arecanut growers can augment their income by cultivating cardamom, pepper and cocoa.
Pickles prepared from midimaavu, tender varieties of mango, are in great demand. Owing to unscientific harvesting plants, the midimaavu trees are facing threat of extinction. The Department of Horticulture should promote the farmers to cultivate the midimaavu varieties of mango by providing them saplings for free.
According to Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education Kimmane Rathnakar, there was a sharp decline in arecanut yield in the Malnad region owing to fruit rot disease, also known as koleroga, and root grub disease. The agriculture scientists should undertake study and research on priority basis on the management of pest and fungal infections in arecanut crop, he added.
K.B. Prasanna Kumar, MLA, and Mayor Khurshida Banu were present.