The seeds produce of farmers based in and around Bengaluru, been processed at Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bengaluru located in Hessaraghata in the Arkavathi catchment area, has directed the way for large scale vegetable cultivation in the seven Northeast states.
IIHR’s seed portal (seed.iihr.res.in), is a virtual platform which will assist the farmers by delivering them quality seed materials right at their doorstep, thereby making the horticulture a profitable venture for the hilly areas. The platform is a boon for the remote Northeastern states as they will get the opportunity to initiate vegetable farming in severe agro-climatic conditions.
The ‘Arka’ seeds, which are a high quality lot and guarantee germination are the most wanted ones.
The seed portal was launched in Covid-19 lockdown, and has already made a sale of Rs 60 lakh worth seeds comprising of more than 60 different varieties of 20 vegetables and also flowers. DR M R Dinesh, Director, IIHR revealed to DH about the institute having an annual sales of 20 tonnes of seeds and will be eventually scaled from 40 – 50 tonnes. He said, “While farmers from 26 states have been buying seeds from us, Northeastern states have been the largest buyers of vegetable seeds due to the large-scale organic cultivation of vegetables in the region.”
Expanding the details, Dinesh iterated, “Arka seeds are disease-resistant and exhibit a high tolerance to varied agro-climatic conditions. We have entered into an agreement with farmers in and around Bengaluru to buy seeds. The seeds are tested and processed by scientists before being passed on to the farmers.”
S Thippeswamy, chief technical officer, IIHR said, “Around 33,000 farmers have registered on the portal. Of these, about 30 to 35% are from the Northeast.” Scientists said there has been a demand for varieties of tomato, onion, capsicum, chilli and creepers.”
He said, “Around 80 kg of seeds of Arka Prasanna ridge gourd were sold in less than five hours. People from anywhere in India can order on SBI’s Yono app which is linked to the portal.” The portal has gained a very high popularity among the urban gardeners.
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