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College of Horticulture, Vellanikkara

The College of Horticulture was established in 1972 with the main objective of starting graduate programme in Horticulture and strengthening research and extension activities in Horticultural crops. B.Sc. (Hort.) degree programme was started with an intake of 20 students during 1972.

The intake capacity was increased to 30 from 1976 and then to 40 from 1979. The B.Sc.(Ag.) programme was also introduced from 1977 with an intake of 50 students. The syllabi for the B.Sc. (Hort.) and B.Sc. (Ag.) programme were then integrated and the B.Sc. (Ag) programme alone was continued with the integrated syllabus. The intake capacity for the B.Sc. (Ag.) programme was subsequently raised to 75 and then to 90.

Post graudate programme was started in six disciplines from 1976 viz., M.Sc. (Hort.), M.Sc. (Ag.) in Agronomy, Agricultural Botany, Soil Science & Agrl. Chemistry, Agrl. Entomology and Plant Pathology. From 1979, Ph.D. programmes in the above disciplines were commenced. Subsequently, M.Sc. programmes were also started in Agrl. Economics, Agrl. Extension, Agrl. Meteorology, Agrl. Statistics and Home Science (Food Science and Nutrition).

Two post-graduate diploma courses of one year duration were conducted in Natural Rubber Production and Land Water Resources and Management from 1979 and 1980 respectively and subsequently discontinued.

Under the Manpower Development Scheme sponsored by the Coffee Board of India, the final year B.Sc. (Ag.) students were given special training in coffee cultivation and processing from 1984 to 1997.

A new diploma course of two-year duration in Natural Rubber Production was started in 1998 for the sponsored candidates from Tripura with the financial assistance of the Rubber Board, Kottayam.

The required Infrastructure for imparting practical training has been established. In addition to the Instructional Farm having an area of 95.35 ha, the different departments have established farms of their own in a total area of about 72.24 ha. Most of the tropical annual, perennial and plantation crops are grown in these farms. The undergraduates are given training in the cultivation of various annual crops, maintenance of perennial crops and processing of agricultural and horticultural produces through various work experience courses. In addition to the regular field trips to various places within the state as part of practical training, the students of the second and third year B.Sc. (Ag) classes are taken on study tour to places of agricultural importance all over South India and all over the country, respectively. During the eighth semester, the final year students are attached to Krishi Bhavans and Agricultural Research Stations of the state for specific periods as a part of their field Training Programme (RAWE).

The Associate Dean heads the college. The faculty consists of nearly 130 highly qualified teachers specialised in various branches of agricultural sciences. The college consists of various departments/ units as follows:

Departments/ Units

The Journal of Tropical Agriculture ( formerly the Agricultural Research Journal of Kerala) is being published from the College of Horticulture for the last 18 years.

Research Programmes

The college is at present operating eight All India Co-ordinated Projects, 47 other externally assisted projects and 192 KAU projects.

Externally funded projects and University funded projects:

All India Co-ordinated Projects:

  1. All India Co-ordinated Vegetable Improvement Project
  2. All India Co-ordinated Floriculture Improvement Project
  3. All India Co-ordinated Research Project on Weed Control
  4. All India Co-ordinated Research Project on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
  5. All India Co-ordinated Research Project on Biological Control of Crop Pests and Weeds.
  6. All India Network Project on Agricultural Ornithology.
  7. All India Co-ordinated Research Project on Agrometeorology
  8. All India Co-ordinated Research Project on Soil Test Crop Response Studies.

I.C.A.R. Adhoc Projects:

  1. Evaluation and selection of medicinal plants suitable for a coconut based farming system.
  2. Rapid multiplication of race and endangered medicinal plants
  3. Rapid multiplication of cashew through in vitro methods
  4. Variability in iron and zinc availability in the laterite and lateritic soils of Central Kerala with reference to rice nutrition.
  5. Triploid breeding of tetraploid hybrids of Palayankodan x Pisang Lilin for disease resistance.
  6. Survey, collection and evaluation of table mango types in Central Kerala
  7. Exploration, collection and cataloguing of sacred lotus and studies on its reproductive biology
  8. In-vitro propagation and improvement of foliage plants.
  9. Breeding bacterial wilt resistant tomatoes for processing
  10. Intermat, intramat and crop competition studies in banana using radio tracer technology
  11. Traditional and appropriate technologies for in situ rain water harvest.
  12. Action research on training and extension for integrated home development
  13. Hybridisation in ginger through in vitro pollination
  14. Large scale production of quality fruits and ornamentals
  15. Utilisation of indigenous phosphate rock by partial acidulation and other amendments.
  16. Genetic analysis of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) hybrids.

DST Projects :

  1. DST project of agrometeorological field unit (AMFU)
  2. An assessment of stressed ecosystem of Thrissur District of Kerala
  3. Solid waste management with special emphasis to sustainable agriculture.

DBT Projects :

  1. Distrubuted Information Sub Centre (DISC)
  2. Tissue culture research on humid tropical plantation crops
  3. Pilot project for the evaluation of tissue culture plants of black pepper
  4. In vitro studies in Gymnema sylvestre - an antidiabetic plant
  5. Triploid production of watermelon and annonas through in vitro endosperm culture
  6. Micropropagation of cashew>

Other Agencies :

  1. Cadbury - KAU Collaborative Cocoa Research Project (Cadbury's India Ltd.)
  2. Establishment of nursery for the production of budded cocoa plants and hybrid seedlings (Directorate of Cocoa Arecanut & Spices Development)
  3. Central sector scheme for the production of medicinal plants (Directorate of Cocoa Arecanut and Spices Development)
  4. Collaborative research project on the evaluation of slow release fertilizers for the important crops in Kerala (FACT/ DSIR)
  5. Adaptive research for evolving recommendations for major groups of soils in the state (Govt. Of Kerala, soil Survey Department)
  6. KAU - KPCL collaborative project on organic meals
  7. Diploma in Natural Rubber Production (Rubber Board)
  8. Nutritional and health impacts of substituting soya products for green gram in the nutrition intervention programme (Sakthi Soyas, Coimbatore)
  9. Economics of teak plantations in Kerala (ICFRE)
  10. Constraints in the uptkae of fertilisers by the co-operatives in Kerala and suggestions for improvement (IFFCO)
  11. Kerala Horticultural Development Project - R&D
  12. Viability of co-operative credit - An analysis of minor irrigation loan in Thrissur District (Kerala State Co-operative Bank Endowment Fund)
  13. Identification and analysis of endangered skills in the farming system of Trichur District KRPLLD, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram.
  14. Survey and identification of high yielding varieties of black pepper (Govt. of India)
  15. Field testing of released varieties of black pepper (Govt. of India)
  16. Survey and identification of low input responsive varieties of black pepper (Govt. of India)
  17. Breeding black pepper varieties for Phytophthora foot rot tolerance (Govt. of India)
  18. Screening somaclonal variants for resistance to Phytophthora foot rot disease (Govt. of India)
  19. Standardisation of low input technology in black pepper (Govt. of India)
  20. Use of organic manures and biofertilizers on black pepper (Govt. of India).
  21. Use of biocontrol agents for checking nursery diseases of black pepper (Govt. of India)
  22. Use of biocontrol agents for the control of Phytophthora foot rot of black pepper (Govt. of India)

In addition to the above externally funded projects, 195 research projects are in progress in various departments of the college.

Concluded Externally Assisted Projects
  1. Manpower Development Scheme sponsored by Coffee Board
  2. PG Diploma in Natural rubber Production financed by Rubber Board
  3. Coconut Root (wilt) Disease Project
  4. All India Co-ordinated Spices and Cashew Improvement Project for Research on Ginger - ICAR
  5. Restoration of Degraded Environment in Chembakad Tribal Colony Area
  6. Centre of Excellence/Advanced Studies for Humid Tropical Tree Crops and Environmental Horticulture
  7. Establishment of Central Nursery for Hybrid Pepper
  8. Ad-hoc scheme for marketing of coconut and cocoa in Kerala - ICAR
  9. Mechanical control and utilization of floating type aquatic weeds - ICAR
  10. Survey, collection and evaluation of germplasm of jack fruit - ICAR
  11. Nutritional studies on the bio-availability of iron from foods - ICAR
  12. Pilot project on tissue culture of orchids, pineapple and anthurium - Govt. of Kerala
  13. Pilot project on tissue culture of black pepper and Kaempferia - Govt. of Kerala
  14. Evaluation of tomato for summer season - ICAR
  15. Pilot testing of papaya based products - NHB
  16. Technology development for handling and utilization of common types of jack fruits of Kerala - ICAR
  17. Standardisation of agro-techniques in foliage plants - ICAR
  18. Tissue culture research in black pepper - DBT
  19. Tissue culture research on cocoa - DBT
  20. Studies on coconut palm in coastal areas of Quilon District of Kerala - Deptartment of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India
  21. Soil chemical and radio-ecological investigations of root (wilt) disease of coconut palm - ICAR
  22. Chemical and radio-ecological investigaqtions of coconut root (wilt) affected watershed - NWDPRA
  23. Estimation of damage due to pests, diseases and drought in black pepper in Kannur District of Kerala - ICAR
  24. All India Co-ordinated Project on Sericulture - Silk Board
  25. Cytogenetic investigations on Kaempferia galanga and Piper longum and Andrographis paniculata - ICAR
  26. Standardization of agro-techniques in lemongrass and palmarosa for maximizing oil production.
  27. Influence of variety, maturity and storage of cashew apple on the quality of fermented products - ICAR
  28. Species relationship in the genus Piper and scope of related taxa in the improvement of Piper nigrum - ICAR
  29. Survey, collection, evaluation, conservation and cataloguing of germplasm of certain under-exploited perennial vegetables - ICAR
  30. Kerala Agricultural Development Project
  31. Transfer of technology in low cost nursery production and management - NHB
  32. Participatory marketing management of vegetables in Kerala - IRMA, Anand
  33. Transfer of technology of crop varieties released by KAU ICSSR
  34. Impact of irrigation in coconut cultivation in Thrissur District - kerala Community Irrigation project
  35. Training and extension project for integrated homestead development in Thrissur District
  36. Food processing and training centres at Vellayani and Vellanikkara campuses - Govt. f India
  37. Central sector scheme for vegetable and fruit seed production - Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Commerce
  38. Development of F1 hybrid seeds in bitter gourd, snake gourd and pumpkin and management of hybrid crops - ICAR
  39. Eco-development of Vellanikkara campus - DST
  40. Breeding for resistance to bacterial wilt in Brinjal and Chilli - ICAR
  41. All India Co-ordinated project for the improvement of tuber crops other than potato - ICAR
  42. CAPART project on development and evaluation of petti and para
  43. SIDA project on water management
  44. Viability of co-operative credit - an analysis of in Thrissur Dist. (ICAR Diamond Jubilee Endowment Fund
  45. Growth, performance and profitability model for district co-operative banks in Kerala (KSEB Diamond Jubilee Endowment Fund)
  46. Rapid multiplication of rare and endangered medicinal plants - ICAR
  47. Rapid multiplication of cashew through in vitro methods - ICAR
  48. Survey, collection, evaluation, conservation and standardization of vegetative propagation in five under exploited fruits of Kerala - ICAR
  49. Agrometerological investigation on summer vegetables - DST
Varieties released

Crop Variety
Chilli Manjari, Ujjwala
Brinjal Surya, Swetha, Haritha and Neelima
Pumpkin Ambili, Suvarna
Bitter gourd Priya and Preethi
Bhindi Aruna and Salkeerthi
Cucumber Sowbhagya
Winged bean Revathy
Tomato Sakthi and Mukthi
Piper longum Viswam
Cowpea Vyjayanthi
Turmeric Kanthi and Sobha

Other Important Research Accomplishments

The protocols for large scale multiplication by in vitro techniques have been standardized in banana, pineapple, jack , ginger, cardamom, Kaempferia galanga, Kaempferia rotunda, Holostemma, orchids and gladiolus. Viable seeds of ginger could be produced for the first time in the world, by in vitro pollination. The technique for in vitro seed germination in banana has been standardized.

Agrotechniques were standardized in various horticultural and agricultural crops. Vegetative propagation techniques have been standardized in mango, jack sapota, Garcinia cambogia, Phyllanthus emblica, Citrus, cocoa, pepper, nutmeg and some selected medicinal plants.

The weed Salvinia molesta present in the backwaters of Kuttanad could be controlled by biocontrol methods using Cyrtobagus salvineae.

Extension Activities

The faculty members are actively participating in various extension programmes of the University by way of conducting training programmes on recent advances in production technology of various crops, taking classes in farmer's seminars, broadcasting radio talks, publishing popular articles etc.

Large Scale Production Of Quality Planting Materials

A mushroom production unit is also functioning in the college. The unit caters the needs of mushroom growers of Thrissur and nearl by districts by supplying quality oyster mushroom spawn. Further, periodical training programme on mushroom cultivation is organised for unemployed youth, housewives and farmers.

Under the vegetable seed production complex, approximately one tonne of quality vegetable seeds is being produced annually and distributed to the farmers fetching Rs.7-8 lakhs per annum.

Under the central sector scheme on medicinal plants started in 1993-94, planting materials of long pepper, Caesalpinia sappan, Adhatoda, Plumbago, Indigofera, Coleus zeylanicus, Kaempferia, Gymnema, Tylophora, Acorus etc. are being produced and distributed to the farmers.

Awards/ Prizes


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