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Innovative Programmes


4.1. High Tech system for production of quality disease free seed rhizome of Ginger

Based on the recommendations of ‘National Consultative Meet on ginger and turmeric planting material production’, to establish a production system for planting material of ginger and turmeric which can ensure freedom from disease and maintain the purity in the planting material produced for distribution to farmers, DASD had implemented the programme for microrhizome production in these crops at three different centres viz. KAU, IISR & TNAU in 2016-17 and in KAU and IISR in 2017-18 and 2018-19. The disease free seedlings / rhizomes produces under the programme has been distributed to progressive farmers for field level multiplication. The project will be continued in this year at KAU & IISR with a total fund requirement of Rs.6.00 Lakhs.


4.2. Participatory mode rehabilitation of black pepper gardens in Kuttiyatoor panchayath (3rd year assistance)

The Directorate had initiated a black pepper rehabilitation programme in Kuttiatoor panchayath (identified under SAGY in Kannur constituency) for a period of 3 years from 2017-18 to 2019-20.  It is one of the important potential pepper growing areas in the district with 1427 pepper farmers having more than 212 ha under pepper cultivation at present. The success of the pepper rehabilitation programme in Cheruthazham panchayath has instigated for proposing a similar programme in Kuttiyattoor panchayath. Similar to the situation in Cheruthazham panchayath, here too poor soil health, improper management practices with changes in climatic factors leading to the incidence of biotic and abiotic stress and predominance of senile and uneconomic vines are the primary reason for decline in pepper productivity. The rehabilitation programme is implemented in association with KVK Kannur of Kerala Agricultural University.

Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) was conducted involving all stakeholders and first hand information on the basic issues in black pepper production in the area was documented. Pepper samithies were formed for planning, implementation and monitoring of the project in the panchayath and trainings were given to the samithi for capacity building. Twenty-five numbers of farmers plots were identified for demonstration of soil reclamation activities and inputs were distributed to these farmers. Ten decentralised nurseries with a production capacity of 10000 cuttings/year/nursery following RMP and serpentine method of multiplication and two mothervine progeny garden with RMP method were established in the panchayath.

An increase in area under pepper from 212 ha. to 500 ha is proposed under the programme. The pepper farmers would almost double from the present 1427 nos to 2500 farmers.  The productivity level would rise from the present 525 gm per standard to 1000 gm dry pepper per standard.  The Panchayath will be self-sufficient with its own planting material and would not require introduction from outside.  Farmers Field Schools (FFS) at different stages of development of pepper would give the farmers a clear understanding of the critical stage of pepper for different operations.

            Improvement in the litre weight of the pepper produce in the area from 500 to 600 gm, is expected in 3 years which is sought after by the exporters.  The pepper production from this area would increase from the present level of 100 tonnes to 300 to 400 tonnes. The impact of the technological solutions offered in the production and productivity of black pepper in the area will be documented on completion of the project.

As per the approved budget, a financial provision of Rs 8.29 lakhs may be made available for this programme for 2019-20. 


4.3. Varietal Authenticity and Purity Identification in Black pepper (2nd year assistance)

            Accreditation of nurseries is an important programme of the Govt of India to regulate the quality of planting material. Genuinity of the variety is an important aspect which is to be addressed through accreditation. The large number of varieties or landraces has made it difficult to identify and characterize varieties solely on the basis of morphological characters because they are non-stable and originate due to environmental and climatic conditions, and therefore phenotypic plasticity is an outcome of adaptation.

            Molecular marker techniques based on DNA profiling provide novel approaches for cultivar identification. They offer advantages for comparison over morphological and biochemical markers, with respect to resolving power, cost effectiveness, testing at any stages of development, rapidity, environment independent expression and produce an array of polymorphism. DASD in association with Indian Institute of spices research, Kozhikode had initiated efforts to develop a set of molecular markers for cultivar identification in black pepper in 2018-19 , which can help in developing a fool proof varietal authentication method using morphological, chemical and molecular markers for black pepper in two years. In the first year ,  as per the approved programme,  20 Black pepper varieties/cultivars were collected and DNA isolation work was done using the standard procedure. Quantification of the isolated DNA was completed using agarose gel analysis and spectrophotometric analysis techniques. Sequencing of the 20 selected accessions is in progress and unique markers were identified in some varieties. More number of primers need to be screened to identify a core set of primers capable of distinguishing all accessions.   

Technical programme

2018 - 19


Standardization of DNA isolation protocols from different tissues


Development of molecular markers (SSR and SNP) for varietial identification


            The estimated financial requirement for 2nd year is Rs. 5.10 Lakhs. 


4.4. Project on establishment of seed production centres in ginger growing areas

The National Consultative Meet on Planting Material Production of Ginger and Turmeric organized by DASD on 25th August 2014 under the chairmanship of Horticulture Commissioner had recommended for establishment of a production system for seed ginger, that could ensure freedom from disease and maintain the purity in the planting material produced for distribution to farmers. The Meet recommended to resort to the latest technologies of microrhizome production, protray method of nursery raising, multiplication/maintenance of seed rhizome in soil less medium in protected structures to avoid disease infection. Since transportation of seed rhizome to distant places is not feasible, it is advocated to establish ginger seed production centres in important ginger growing areas. Hence, a pilot project is proposed for the establishment of a seed production centre in ginger growing areas employing technologies viz., microrhizome technology and protray method of single bud nursery raising technology that would ensure production of disease free planting material and avoid the need for transportation to distant places.


  • Establishment of a seed production centre in ginger growing area of Kerala for production of disease free planting materials of ginger to cater to the local need of the area.

Activities  : The seed production centre will follow two level of multiplication

1. The microrhizome derived ginger seed will be multiplied and maintained in the protected structures by the progressive farmers.

2. The disease free seed obtained from the progressive farmers will be multiplied in the field by elite farmers. The resultant seeds produced will be released to the farmers for commercial multiplication

The microrhizome derived disease-free planting materials form SAUs /Central Research Institutes need to be collected by the progressive farmer which will be multiplied and maintained in the protected structures provided for the purpose. It is estimated that a 500 meter square structure will able to produce 2.0 to 3.0 tonnes of seed material which can be used for planting 3-4 ha of land. Financial assistance will be provided for establishing new polyhouse / renovation of existing one as per MIDH norms. Field multiplication can be taken up by elite farmers in rotation as land used for this purpose can be put to use for the same purpose only after a gap of 3 years. The seed thus derived will be distributed for ginger cultivation for commercial purpose. Latest technologies for control of disease in the field will be adopted meticulously to ensure freedom from disease. The protray method of nursery raising will be employed at every stage of multiplication for maintaining economy in seed requirement. The financial assistance for taking up cultivation in the field will also be provided to the individuals concerned as per the guidelines of MIDH. The Directorate will support field cultivation of ginger seed for the next 3 continuous years and thereafter, the elite farmers should maintain the unit on their own.

Storage structures will also be established to store the ginger seed produced so that it retains its viability till disposal. Necessary financial assistance will be provided for establishing the same. Training will be arranged prior to start of the programme and also during the programme for the adoption of the right technologies.