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99 Yatra
Now, farmers can look to AAU for date palm crops
06 August 2007

Vadodara: Farmers in the Central Gujarat region can now look forward to using better quality plants of date palm when the newly built Tissue Culture Laboratory of Anand Agricultural University (AAU) is inaugurated on August 12. AAU which has reported success of tissue culture in date palm will now help the farmers with plants that can get them rich yields.

AAU has invested nearly Rs 1 crore in the development of state-of-the-art laboratory. "We received Rs 40 lakh from the State government for the laboratory building,’’ said AAU Vice Chancellor Prof M C Varshenya.According to laboratory head Dr Divakar Patel, they have got technology for three crops_ date palm, spine-gourd (kankoda) and parwar. ’’But now we are working on date palm. Date palm from Kutch has given bumper yield this year,’’ he said.

He said with this, farmers will know that whatever plants they grow are dioecious (having male and female reproductive organs in separate plants) plants. "At present, farmers are not getting good quality material for date palm and one tissue cultured plant in international market costs more than $ 60. Farmers are not in a position to import. But now we will help them,’’ said Patel.

According to Patel, date palm plants from Kutch are far superior to other date palms and they can be easily made available to farmers by using tissue culture method. "Also we are focusing to employ technology in sandalwood and Jatropha. Plants developed using this technique has very high anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and grow disease-free," the V-C said.

For date palm success story, AAU was given Dr Vikram Sarabhai Award in 2005.

Courtesy: Ahmedabad Newsline - Ahmedabad,India kutchhis globally , from Mumbai

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