Location: CoE, Kuppam, Chittoor and ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India.
- International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
- Department of Horticulture, Andhra Pradesh
- Heirloom Seedlings and Plants Pvt. Ltd.
Andhra Pradesh is home to one of the largest vegetable clusters in the world, located in the Madanapalle in Rayalaseema. The region is afflicted by soilborne diseases and decreasing yields due to salinity and high temperatures. Most small and marginal farmers in the region are hardworking and open to modern practices like drip irrigation. However, for some time now, they have been plagued by increasing input costs and stagnating yields, rendering cultivation non-remunerative. The State’s Horticulture Department views the introduction of grafted vegetable seedlings of high-value crops as a way to counter these factors in order to improve the livelihoods and incomes of farmers. The new global trend of grafting vegetable seedlings enables intensive and continuous production, higher yields and boosts farm productivity.
The Department of Horticulture is focused on transforming the highly drought-prone Rayalaseema region into a horticulture hub of the country, for which it leverages the Centre of Excellence (CoE) facility and infrastructure in Kuppam.
The main purpose of the initiative is to enhance the incomes of vegetable farmers in the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh and develop ‘sites of learning’ in together with the Department of Horticulture, Government of Andhra Pradesh and experts in the field of hi-tech vegetable cultivation. The project has made efforts to link available state and national schemes to the grafting technology to further popularise and scale it out. The project has adopted a participatory Research for Development (PR4D) approach to help improve the livelihoods of small and marginal farmers.
The specific objectives are:
- To establish a hi-tech grafted seedlings nursery for solanaceous and cucurbitaceous vegetables through the Centre of Excellence facility at Kuppam;
- To establish a cluster of 600 ha to grow grafted vegetable seedlings in the Rayalaseema region during three cropping seasons;
- To provide technical support and guidance with documentation to cluster farmers to increase productivity; and
- To build awareness and capacity: Train 1200 farmers in seedling grafting and conduct six farmer exposure visits-cum-field days.
The scientific grafting of tomato, chilli, brinjal, capsicum and bitter gourd were covered in detail, focusing on an integrated approach involving nutrient and pest management. The pamphlets, which were also made available at the CoE for farmers on exposure visits, also contained detailed information on grafting technology, soil and bed preparation, seedling spacing, fertigation scheduling, etc.
|Doubling Farmer Incomes through Grafted Vegetable Seedlings (Annual Progress Report 2019-2020). (2020): In: 2020.|
|Doubling Farmer Incomes through Grafted Vegetable Seedlings (Annual Progress Report 2018-2019). (2019): In: 2019.|