Mangaluru, July 28, 2018: Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), Kasargod, Director Dr P Chowdappa said that the tractor-mounted sprayer and a drone for spraying copper sulphate solution in arecanut plantations will be commercialized next year.
Speaking to media, he said that arecanut growers spray Bordeaux mixture for arecanut during monsoon to protect the crop from fruit rot disease. Lack of labourers has been a problem. The CPCRI is ready with two prototypes.
The tractor-mounted sprayer, developed in collaboration with ASPEE, can spray copper sulphate solution up to a height of 100 foot. In case of inter crops, like banana and cocoa, with arecanut, driving a tractor-mounted sprayer in the plantations will be difficult. Considering the problem, the CPCRI has come out with a drone for spraying the solution in collaboration with Bengaluru-based General Aeronautics Pvt Ltd (a start-up by Entrepreneurship Centre of Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru).
Both the prototypes have been proved successful during a demonstration at CPCRI in Vittal, he explained.
He said that that there is no standard for testing the quality of arecanut so far. But the CPCRI has developed a standard and has handed it to the government. It has already been notified last month. This is helpful in checking the quality of import of arecanut as well, he said.
Arecanut and health : In connection with the raising concern over the impact of arecanut over health, the CPCRI had recently conducted an interactive workshop with oncologists, doctors, scientists and other stakeholders to dispel the negative impact of arecanut on health. The documentation compiled from the outcome of the workshop will be submitted to the Central government shortly. The document will highlight the benefits of arecanuts, he said.
Chowdappa said that the CPCRI has already transferred its technology to 200 companies so far.
Dwarf hybrid : He said that the CPCRI is developing a dwarf hybrid of arecanut, which is likely to be transferred to farmers in 2019. Normally, 600 arecanut plants are grown on one acre of land. In dwarf variety, one can plant 700 to 750 plants in an acre. Further, spraying pesticides on the crop is easy and it is easy to climb. The farmers will get yield within three-and-a-half to four years, he added.