Important Research/Extension/development programmes
The station maintains a rich germplasm of black pepper, ginger, turmeric and rice. RARS Ambalavayal is the lead centre for the multi institutional project entitled “Multi Enterprise Farming Models to Address the Agrarian Crisis of Wayanad District of Kerala” under National Agricultural Innovation project funded by ICAR.
The network project on Agro meteorological advisory service provides short term forecasts on weather and crop advisory based on the forecast. The information is provided to farmers through mass media. The station has a class B meteorological observatory and automatic weather station.
RARS Ambalavayal is a Cooperating Centre for the All India Coordinated Research Project on Spices. Research programmes on pepper, ginger, turmeric etc are taken up under this project.
Multi Location trials (MLTs) with improved varieties of rice, ginger , turmeric and pepper are conducted at RARS to recommend suitable varieties for the high range region.
RARS serves as a major hub for the supply of seeds and planting materials of various crops. Rooted cuttings of black pepper, seed materials/seedlings of ginger, turmeric, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, mangosteen; grafts/seedlings of mango and other fruit plants, seeds of different varieties of rice, scented rice varieties like Jeerakasala and Gandhakasala, seeds and seedlings of tropical/cool season vegetables, various ornamental plants including roses are being multiplied and distributed. The nursery activities are being scaled up with the help of Women self help groups formed under NAIP on revenue sharing basis. Rice seed production is also being done in participatory mode. Annually about 2.5 lakh rooted pepper cuttings, 25-30 tons of rice seeds, 4-5 quintals of vegetable seeds, 2-3 tons of ginger and turmeric seed rhizomes and 2-2.5 lakhs seedlings/grafts of various tree spices/fruit plants are distributed. Seed and nursery activities are managed in a revolving fund mode with corpus made available by ICAR/KAU/RKVY. Revenue to the tune of Rs. 1.10crores is generated through these activities and sale of farm produce.
Facilities for production of tissue culture banana, bio control agents for management of crop pests/diseases are being established with SHM funding. A Leaf/tissue analysis and crop management advisory facility is also being established.
RARS took lead role in obtaining Geographical Indicator Registration for scented rice varieties Wayanad Jeerakasala and Wayanad Gandhakasala for Wayanad in favour of Wayanad Sugandha Nellulpadhaka Sangham. Steps are being taken to get similar recognition for Wayanad Pepper and turmeric in favour of Wayanad Organic Consortium.
RARS provides agro advisory services to the farmers and extension personnel. Multi disciplinary diagnostic team visits are conducted to address field problems.
RARS has 87 ha farm with pepper, coffee, rice, coconut, arecanut, mango, mangosteen, sapota, banana, vegetables, fodder crops, and a collection of sub tropical fruit species. The farm and nursery is visited by farmers, tourists, students and public. The station has excellent rapport with farmers, Local Self Government Institutions, Department of Agriculture and other agencies working in the field. The facilities available are also being used for providing trainings. Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Wayanad also functions in the campus and conducts training programmes, frontline demonstrations, participatory action research programmes etc. This farm is a notified centre in the tourism net work of DTPC Wayanad and attracts a lot of visitors. RARS maintains a garden with good collection of roses.
During 12th plan period the station is poised to develop as a lead centre for research in black pepper, scented rice and cropping systems in Wayanad. Proposals for establishing a Product development and Processing Centre for Jack fruit, Research programme for Protected cultivation and precision farming in vegetables and ornamentals and promotion programme for Agro tourism are also in the offing.