Soil erosionl


Scientists show new technology for growing watermelon



Staff Correspondent   HINDU»NATIONAL » KARNATAKA   MYSORE, July 16, 2011


      A field day on ‘Improved production technology for watermelon' was held at Kudanahalli near here on Tuesday. The programme was organised by the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Hesaraghatta, Bangalore, under the National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) project.

The programme started with a visit to the demonstration plot by farmers from different taluks of Mysore district, scientists from the IIHR, staff of the Department of Horticulture led by H.M. Nagaraj, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Mysore, and Arun Balamatti, programme coordinator, JSS KVK, Suttur.

B. Balakrishna, senior scientist, IIHR, Bangalore, gave a brief introduction to the technology.

R.M. Bhatt, principal scientist, IIHR, gave an introductory talk on the impact of climate on the changing scenario of horticultural crops and the programmes taken up in the country to reduce its impact.

He explained about the NICRA project and its objectives and also about the utility of climate resilient technologies in agriculture and horticulture.


Year-round demand

S.S. Hebbar, principal scientist, IIHR, highlighted the integrated production technology for watermelon and the increasing demand for the crop all through the year.

Measures including drip irrigation, efficient water use, weed management and reducing labour costs would help increase yield and improve the quality of watermelon and other vegetable crops, he said.

He highlighted the role of conservation of water, nutrients and other resources to check the impact of changing climatic conditions.

K.S. Shivashankar, principal scientist, IIHR, briefed the groups on the changing climatic conditions, the factors responsible for it and the nature of problems farmers had encountered during the changing scenario.

He advocated important and simple practices to be adopted for reducing the impact of climate change such as use of drip irrigation, mulching and fertigation technologies, besides agro-forestry.

M. Pitchaimuttu spoke about the improved varieties/hybrids of watermelon from the IIHR such as ‘Arka Aishwarya', ‘Arka Akash' and ‘Arka Madhura' and the latest commercial varieties suitable for cultivation in Mysore district.

He pointed out the advantages of adopting different planting systems in the production of watermelon.

They spoke on topics including climate change, conservation, new fruit varieties


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