2000yr old Thirukural

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Venkatapathy Reddiar Padma Shri winner info

MONEY SPINNER: Mr. Venkatapathy Reddiar, a farmer in Puducherry with his full-grown MIQ-Junghuhniana casuarina variety. — Photo: M.J. Prabu
VAGARIES OF the monsoon have forced a number of farmers growing traditional crops to seek viable alternatives.
Trees such as teak and casuarina have become popular among farmers as the trees, once planted, require little attention and water and their wood fetches a good price in the market.
MIQ- Junghuhniana casuarina is a hybrid variety developed by an innovative farmer Mr. Venkatapathy Reddiar of Lakshmi Narayana's Crossandra Innovation Centre at Koodapakkam village in Puducherry.
Casuarina tree is called Savukku maram in Tamil, Sarugudu in Telugu, Survemara in Kannada and Jangli saru in Hindi.
Disease free plants
Working in an ingeniously designed laboratory at his Crossandra Innovation Centre, Mr. Reddiar has developed quality, disease-free MIQ-Junghuhniana casuarina plants with long roots through the vegetative propagation technique.
"It is the first time that this casuarina variety has been developed by vegetative propagation," he said.
The wood of this variety has a good demand in the market for making paper, rayon ropes, and mirror frames.
Ideal for drylands
This casuarina is ideal for growing in drylands and rainfed areas. It has long tapering roots, which penetrate deep into the soil and reaches a height of 80-100 feet in 3-4 years of planting.
The trunk of a full-grown tree trunk measures about 40cm in girth and attains a weight of 150-200 kg, according to Mr. Reddiar.
If planted at the same time, all the trees reach the same height. The ideal time for planting the trees is during April-May. "A native of Thailand, the variety was introduced in India during the 1950s and can be grown in any soil type and requires very little water for its growth. About 3,570 saplings are required for planting in one hectare," Mr. Reddiar said.
Before planting, it is advisable to plough the land well after applying farmyard manure.
The saplings should then be planted either in straight lines or in triangles with a distance of about 5 feet between individual saplings.
The saplings should be irrigated for about eight months after planting.
Though the variety is hardy and resistant to any infestation, in some areas termite infestation is noticed. Farmers are advised to spray 1ml chloropyriphos diluted in one litre of water over the saplings to control the infestation, according to Mr. Reddiar.
Weeding requirement
Weeding should be done once every week for the first three months and once every month thereafter.
Fertilizer application of about 100kg of diammonium phosphate (DAP) and 50kg of urea must be done on the sixth and twelfth month after planting.
The fertilizer must be applied in holes dug about 1 foot away from the tree trunk.
After the eight month, about 250gm of groundnut cake should be applied in the same manner. The fertilizer applications must be continued till the third year of planting.

Suitable fence crops
Being hardy, the trees can withstand strong winds without breaking and are ideal fence crops. Compared to other crops the return from this variety is very high, according to Mr. Reddiar.
"A farmer needs to spend about Rs. 35,000 towards cost of saplings, fertilizer and transport.
One tonne of MIQ-Junghuhniana casuarina wood is priced at Rs. 3,500 in the market and farmers can earn about rupees thirteen lakh from a hectare," he said.
The trees have a life span of about 50 years and farmers can continue cutting the trees once every 3-4 years.

The saplings are available at Lakshmi Narayana's Crossandra Innovation Centre at Puducherry and are priced at Rs 4 per sapling.
 Mr. Venkatapathy Reddiar can be reached at
 No.6, Perumal koil street,
phone: 0413-2002626 and 2666611, 
mobile: 9443-226611.

source:The hindu

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