Training on Popularization of Eco-Friendly Technologies

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Training on Popularization of Eco-Friendly Technologies: Biofertilizers & Biopesticides for Soil & Crop Health Management among Spices Cultivating Farmers of Wayanad, Kerala

A two-day online training programme was organized on soil health management through the application of eco-friendly technologies from 20-21 September 2021 under MSSRF DBT-BIOTECH KISAN HUB programme. The training was organized in collaboration with Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR), Kozhikode as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ which was celebrated to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence. A total of 50 spice cultivating farmers from Padichira, Noolpuzha, Irulam, Pozhuthana and Pulpally villages participated in the session. The major objective of the training was to promote eco-friendly technologies among spice cultivating farmers and thereby enhancing soil health in spice cultivating areas. Mr. Sanil P C, Young Professional II, DBT Biotech KISAN Hub formally welcomed all the dignitaries and participants and the presidential address was given by Dr. Shakeela V., Director, MSSRF-CAbC. Dr. V. R. Prabavathy, Principal Scientist-Biotechnology, MSSRF, Chennai inaugurated the programme with the release of micronutrient mix in spices. The programme was felicitated by Dr. Lijo Thomas, Senior Scientist, ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Calicut and Mrs Anu George, Agricultural Officer, Pulpally Krishi Bhavan.

First technical session was handled by Dr. V. Srinivasan, Principal Scientist (Soil Science) ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Calicut and mainly dealt with the nutrient and soil health management in spices. During the session, he explained the importance of soil testing and the application of fertilizers based on that. He taught the farmers about the crop-specific needs of each spice for both macro and micro nutrients. In addition to that, the session dealt with the application of organic amendments and their role in nutrient supply. The session also handled the topics like biofertilizers and micronutrient application in spices. By this session, farmers got an overall idea about the proper soil management measures and how it helps the plants to improve its resistance from external stresses including drought, pest and disease etc.

The second day initiated with a session on biofertilizer and biopesticide preparation and application in spice crops handled by Dr. Praveena R., Senior Scientist (Plant Pathology), ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Calicut. The major objective of the training was to popularize biofertilizer and biopesticides available for spices and to improve the farmer’s knowledge in the preparation and application of these bio inputs. The session mainly dealt with the major biocontrol agents available for spice crops which include Trichoderma, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Pochonia, PGPR etc. During the session, she explained the application of these biocontrol agents in the field as a prophylactic measure against various pests and diseases. She also showed the different formulations in which they are available in the market and the precautions to be taken during the storage and application. In addition to that, Dr. Praveena also gave examples of crop and disease-specific biocontrol agents which are available in the form of talc and capsule in ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Calicut. At the end of the session farmers interacted with the scientist and cleared their doubts related to biocontrol agents. The programme ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Aparna Joseph, Young Professional II, DBT Biotech KISAN Hub. Overall, it was an informative training programme specifically oriented towards spice cultivating farmers in Wayanad.