New Delhi: Eight Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Institutes engaged in developing agro products and farming equipment have participated in the Agrovision 2019 exhibition organized in Nagpur, Maharashtra from 22 to 25 November. The Institutes displayed their products for the benefits of farmers and guided them on how they can increase their productivity with minimal cost of production. The event was coordinated by the CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur.
At the exhibition, CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), Durgapur, showcased its new inventions for modern agriculture including solar-based automatic irrigation and cotton picking head.
Automated irrigation with solar tree was demonstrated to the farmers as an ideal solution to load shading. The picking of cotton balls is still done manually, especially by women and children. Therefore, the institute demonstrated that the spindle type, tractor operated picking head can be used to mechanize cotton harvesting and thereby reduce the overall production cost.
In order to promote mechanized agriculture among farmers with small land holdings, a small-range 11.2 horsepower diesel engine tractor that costs Rs 200,000 was also displayed by CSIR-CMERI.
The farmers of Vidarbha were encouraged to cultivate various varieties of lemongrass and palmarosa developed by CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, to get more benefits. The Institute has already deployed improved varieties of lemon grass and palmarosa in 600 acres of land in Vidarbha. Various herbal products including skin care, hair care, mosquito repellant, neutraceuticals, disinfectants, and more were also showcased by CSIR-CIMAP.
CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur, demonstrated a potential of stevia cultivation in Vidarbha, which is known as sweet herb of Paraguay and 300 times sweeter than sucrose. On an average, dry leaf yield of stevia is 3 to 3.5 tonnes per hectare per year, which fetches a market price of Rs. 100 to 120 per kg, resulting in a net return of Rs. 2 to 2.7 lakh per hectare per year. Edible and ornamental bamboos were also displayed by the Institute.
CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, exhibited biofertilizers, bioplastics and herbal products including gulal, dye, soft drinks, chocolates, jam, and more. Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Nitin Gadkari, in his inaugural address said, “These kinds of interactive exhibitions are very beneficial as they give a window to the stakeholders to know about advanced technology and how they can be harnessed.”
The technologies relating to carbonated orange juice and dehydrated citrus fruits, along with economically viable processing, were also displayed by CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute. The Institute also apprised the farmers about bakery, beverage, cereal, fruit and vegetable products.
CSIR-NEERI informed the visitors about the work done by the Institute on green corridor development on the National Highway between Jam and Hinghanghat in Nagpur region.
Significant achievements relating to wasteland development in rural areas, bamboo cultivation on fly ash dump sites, and phytorid technology for treatment of wastewater were also displayed.
Dr. Hemant Purohit, Senior Scientist, CSIR-NEERI inaugurated the CSIR pavilion. He interacted with the participating scientists from various CSIR Institutes.
Jyoti Singh is a contributor at India Science Wire.