DIVISION OF CROP IMPROVEMENT
The main objective of this Division is to evolve improved tobacco varieties with high yield potential and/or resistance to biotic/ abiotic stresses coupled with acceptable leaf quality. The Division has so far developed 50 varieties in all types of tobacco for cultivation throughout the country. All the ruling FCV tobacco varieties cultivated in India viz., Hema, VT-1158, Kanthi, Hemadri, Siri and N-98 in black soils and southern light soils of Andhra Pradesh; Kanchan in Northern light soils of A.P; Kanchan and Rathna in Karnataka light soils were developed by the breeders of this Division. Chewing varieties viz., Lichchavi, Pusa Tobacco-76, Vaishali Special., Sona, Bhagyalakshmi, Meenakshi, Meenakshi (CR), Abirami, Kaviri, Manasi; Rustica varieties viz., DD-437, Dharla, Torsa; Burley variety Banket A-1; Cheroot varieties viz., Natu Special, Bhairavi; Lanka Special are some of the prominent non-FCV tobacco varieties released. Tobacco Mosaic Virus resistant varieties like CTRI Spl. (MR), Jayasri (MR), VT-1158, Godavari Spl., Banket A-1 ; Black-shank resistant varieties like Mc.Nair-12, CM-12(KA), Kanchan, Bhavya; Powdery Mildew resistant variety Swarna and caterpillar resistant chewing variety, Meenakshi CR etc. are few of the resistant cultivars released by the Institute. Lines resistant to tobacco caterpillar (Spodoptera litura), tobacco aphid (Myzus nicotianae), Budworm (Helicoverpa armigera) and root-knot nematodes were also developed through interspecific hybridization and biotechnological approaches. In view of the health problems associated with tobacco, a number of improved lines having lower levels of harmful substances (Tar and TSNA - tobacco specific nitrosamines) have been developed. These lines are undergoing advanced trials. Also, hybrids having high yield potential besides high leaf quality, lower levels of tar and TSNA have been developed for the benefit of the farming community. Due to the concerted efforts of the scientists, the yield potential of FCV varieties has increased from 1,500 to 3,000 kg/ha while in non-FCV varieties, the yield increased from 2,000 to 4000 kg/ha. Beside the yield, cured leaf quality was also substantially improved due to the newly released varieties. Efforts are on to breed tobacco varieties suitable for extraction of edible oil besides higher levels of phyto-chemicals viz., solanesol, nicotine, protein etc.
Tobacco germplasm management has been given top priority and at present 2,650 germplasm accessions belonging to N. tabacum L and N. rustica L besides 60 wild Nicotiana species, are maintained in the gene bank. Germplasm collection, maintenance, evaluation, documentation and utilization are taken up on regular basis. Germplasm accessions with desirable agronomic and quality traits, and resistance to various diseases and insect pests are identified and are used in breeding work.
Research on package of practices for different released varieties are conducted in this Division and suitable recommendations were translated to the tobacco farmers to get high yields coupled with quality. Cropping systems for different agro - ecological sub-regions have been developed and recommended. These trials showed that soybean, pigeonpea, groundnut, rice, greengram, blackgram, cotton, chillies, mustard and sunflower are the economically viable alternative crops to FCV tobacco. Since tobacco is a high value cash crop, a cropping systems rather than a single crop can be an alternative to tobacco. Investigations on nutrient - use - efficiency, integrated nutrient management (INM), organic farming, integrated farming systems, micro-irrigation and fertigation systems in northern light soils to minimize the labour cost and to improve water and nutrient use effiency, integrated weed and Orobanche management are carried out. Research on agronomic evaluation of cultivars / germplasm for alternative uses is in progress.
In FCV tobacco cultivation, 30% of cost of cultivation accounts for flue-curing. Results so far have revealed that insulation of the roof, ventilators and doors of the flue curing barn with thermocole or rock-wool or straw-mit and modification of the barn furnace etc are useful for reducing the cost of flue curing which resulted in 30% reduction in the flue curing. Besides trials are in progress to improve the curing technique and reduce the cost of curing by redesigning arrangement of the barn flue pipes and usage of solar energy. As an alternative to wood fuel and coal for curing FCV tobacco, efforts are also made to find out the alternative sources for curing viz., briquettes made of agri-bye-products namely coffee husk, saw - dust, paddy – husk, coconut fronts / shells, oilpalm fronts, coffee stubbles etc. Results revealed that these agri-bye-prodcuts can effectively be utilized as an alternative source of fuel for flue curing. Further, a low profile barn (24'x16'x10'6") was designed and recommended for improving the fuel use efficiency. This can accommodate 120 sticks more and reduces the time of curing by 20 hr. when compared to conventional barn (16'x 16'xI6')
The division conducts research on the incidence and crop losses caused by insect pests and pathogens, etiology and epidemiology of diseases, bio-ecology of insect pests and developing integrated management schedules against insect pests and pathogens. The mandate of the division is to conduct basic and applied research on insect pests and disease management in tobacco and tobacco based cropping systems for development, demonstration and popularization of sustainable crop protection technologies. In order to manage the insect pest and diseases, scientists at the institute and its research station have developed several promising crop protection technologies. The work done on neem and neem based products in controlling insect pests note worthy. The entomologists have standardized mass production of bio-control agents particularly NPV. IPM modules with cultural, biological and need - based application of selective insecticides have been developed and successfully demonstrated in Farmers’ fields which helped in production of pesticide residue free tobacco for export.
CROP CHEMISTRY & SOIL SCIENCE
The Division of Crop Chemistry and Soil Science has been entrusted with the responsibility to conduct the basic, strategic and applied research related to assessment and management of soil resource constraints for production efficiency and product quality. The priority areas of research include, soil quality management for tobacco productivity and quality, enhancing nutrient use efficiency, nutrient supplementation through organic inputs and bio-fertilizers, tobacco responses to abiotic stresses and their alleviation, development of flavour profiles and reduction of harmful substances in tobacco, and evaluation and exploitation of tobacco for alternative uses with special focus on seed oil and phyto-chemicals (solanesol, nicotine, leaf protein etc.) having potential uses in food and drug industry.
The Division is equipped with the state-of-the-art laboratory facilities to backup research activities. It houses sophisticated instruments like Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzer, Autoanalyser, UV-Vis Spectrophotometer, Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, Photosynthetic System, Plant Canopy Analyzer, Chlorophyll Meter, Gel Documentation System, PCR Analyser, GC, GC-MS, GC-TEA, HPLC, Cigarette Smoking Machine, Laminar Air Flow System, Zeiss Microscope and other routinely used laboratory paraphernalia.
The Division has five specialized constituent units to render services relating to Soil and Water testing, Tobacco Leaf Quality Evaluation, Pesticide Residue Analysis, Cigarette Testing and Smoke Analysis, and Seed Testing. The Division is manned with scientific and technical staff having expertise and experience to provide training and consultancy in the specific areas including soil testing and water quality assessment, tobacco leaf quality evaluation, pesticide residue analysis, cigarette and smoke testing, seed testing and tobacco curing technologies.
PME Cell deals with the day - to - day technical correspondence of the Institute, maintenance of Research Project Files (RPFs), preparation of Annual Reports, QRT Reports, Technical Reports, publication of Bulletins, Deputation of Scientists to Seminars and Symposia and Farmers Training Programmes, Arranging Radio talks, Field visits to farmers fields, Conducting Technical Programme Meetings, IRC Meetings, AINRP(Tobacco), Workshops, RAC Meetings, Seminars, Training Programmes, etc at the institute. It is headed by Principal Scientific Officer (PSO).
CTRI central library was established in 1950 to assist the researchers at the Main Institute and at its Regional Stations located at different places viz. Guntur (AP), Kandukur (AP), Jeelugumilli (AP), Vedasandur (Tamilnadu), Hunsur (Karnataka), Dinhata (W.B.), and for Burley Tobacco Research Centre (BTRC) at Kalavacharla in carrying out the R&D in different types of tobacco.
- To procure published/unpublished literature on tobacco and other related subjects.
- To index and abstract the selected information available in journals.
- To prepare retrospective annotated bibliographies on different subjects.
- To provide Current Awareness Services (CAS) and Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) services.
- To provide reference and referral services and CD ROM Databases searches.
- To provide reprographic and binding services.
- To provide user training programmes to scientists and others in utilising of library resources and services.
Library acquired so far 13,554 books, 12,132 bound volumes of journals, Annual Reports of ICAR Institutes and Universities, 3,045 Reports/technical bulletins, Newsletters from ICAR Institutes/Universities
Documents were categorized into different subjects. At present, library is receiving 70 periodicals (67 Indian and 3 foreign).
DTP system was established in the library in 1996. Different software’s such as Page Maker, MS Office, Free Handi Telugu, Anu fonts and Photoshop are loaded in the system. DTP is used in the preparation of different publications of CTRI such as Annual Reports, CTRI News, Books, Bulletins, Reports, Hand-outs etc. Computerization of library activities and functions are completed. The following bibliographic databases are created on Macintosh system.
- Back volumes of Journals available in the library.
- Articles published by CTRI and its Regional Stations and AINRP(Tobacco) centres
- Indian Tobacco Literature from 1986-2010
- CORESTA CD-ROM on tobacco is available for tobacco literature searches.
AGRICULTURL KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT UNIT (AKMU)
The AKMU was established in 1998 with advanced systems and peripherals. Computer systems are provided to each Scientist and each Section and LAN connectivity is provided among all the nodes. Internet connection was provided with broadband 8 MBPS line connectivity
- Development of software for Scientific Research.
- Statistical analysis of experimental data.
- Providing Internet connectivity with broadband 8MBPS line to all the systems in the main building
- Maintenance and updating of data in PERMISNET (Personnel Management Information System Network)
- Maintenance and updating of weather data in Meteorological Database Management System of Black Soil Farm, Katheru.
- Installation and Maintenance of computer systems and peripherals
- Execution and updating of Pay-roll and Co-operative society software for office automation.
- Providing training to Scientific, Technical and Administrative staff in computer applications.
- Intel I3/ Pentium IV systems
- WINDOWS 2003 SERVER
- Laser & Inkjet Printers
- Switches & Hubs
- Line matrix printer
- WINDOWS 2003 SERVER
- KASPERSKY ANTIVIRUS
- WINDOWS 8
- MSOFFICE 2010
SEED PRODUCTION SECTION
Tobacco is an important commercial crop cultivated in 0.45 million ha producing annually 750 million kg of leaf. As in other crops, raising uniform crop is essential to obtain higher yields and superior quality tobacco. The Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI), Rajahmundry (A.P) started producing and distributing the pure seed of approved tobacco varieties to the farmers since 1952. In view of the efficiency of the seed production programme of CTRI, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi has sanctioned a “Revolving Fund Scheme” (RF Scheme) in the year 1990 with the objective of supplying pure seed and healthy seedlings of approved tobacco varieties to growers with the prime objective of improving the yield and quality of Flue-Cured-Virginia (FCV) tobacco. Under the Scheme, about 20,000 kg of FCV tobacco seed and 600 kg of Lanka tobacco seed (Non-FCV) are produced and distributed to the tobacco growers in Andhra Pradesh. In view of the problems and issues related to the minute size and very high reproductive efficiency of the tobacco crop, we have standardized the methodology for the production of large quantity of pure seed. Tobacco nursery is from breeder seed is raised in an area of 2.50 ha and the healthy seedlings are supplied to 100 - 150 ha of seed plots. Progressive farmers are selected by regular visits, and interaction for ensuring pure seed production. Besides, the seed plot growers are given a subsidy of Rs. 500 / ha.
The seed-plots are planted directly under the supervision of the experienced staff. Adequate isolation distance (5.0 m) is maintained between two different varieties for avoiding chance cross pollination. The plots are regularly monitored by the plant breeders and technicians and necessary instructions are given to the farmers for raising the healthy crop. The plots are regularly rouged to remove the off-types once at the grand growth stage and the second at the flowering stage to avoid varietal contamination. As the leaf is the economic product, the farmers’ harvest and market the leaf and get the price for their leaf produce. At the end of the season, the seed capsules are collected variety wise, dried in the sun and winnowed to remove debris. The seed is then thoroughly dried to maintain seed moisture level < 4.0%, treated with Malathion @ 4% insecticide and packed into half kg polythene sachets. CTRI security Hologram is fixed on the sachets in order to make them tamper proof. Germination tests are conducted at regular intervals and only the tobacco seeds having > 95% germination are only sold to the farmers. Although, the ‘RF Scheme’ was initially started with Rs. 3,00,000/- in 1990, the receipts of the RF scheme are Rs. 170.4 and Rs. 121.63 lakhs during 2009 and 2010 respectively. The cost of one kilogram of FCV tobacco seed in Brazil is $3,000/- while in India, tobacco seed price kept at $18/kg for the benefit of the farmers. In any given season, more than 95% of the tobacco crop area is planted with the tobacco seed supplied by CTRI and its Regional Stations. The service rendered by the Institute, to the farming community in seed production aspects is paying richer dividends in terms of increased leaf quality, higher leaf yields and greater monetary returns to the growers.
BLACK SOIL FARM, KATHERU (RAJAHMUNDRY)
The experimental farm attached to CTRI, Rajahmundry is situated at Katheru village, a hamlet of Rajahmundry Corporation. Farm Superintendent is the in-charge of the farm who works under the advice of Heads of divisions. The farm is spread over an area of 47.38 hectares adjacent to the river Godavari. The Fam soil is heavy black soil classified as vertisol. The Farm caters to the needs of Crop Improvement, Crop Production, Crop Chemistry & Soil Science and Crop Protection divisions for conducting various experiments. It is equipped with tractor and bullock drawn agriculture implements for cultivation of different crops, such as FCV, Burley, Natu Tobacco; Blackgram, Greengram, Horsegram, Chickpea, Maize, Soybean, Pigeonpea, Mustard, Coriander and fodder jowar.
The experimental farm has ‘A’ class Meteorological Observatory which operates under the Indian Meteorological Department, Pune. Observations on atmospheric temperature, soil temperature, total rainfall, No. of rainy days, Relative humidity, evaporation, sunshine hours, wind velocity, wind direction, dew fall and lysimeter readings are recorded daily. The weather data is also supplied to different Govt. and Non-governmental organizations.
KRISHI VIGYAN KENDRA, KALAVACHARLA (KVK)
RAJANAGARAM MANDAL - 533 294
EAST GODAVARI DISTRICT, A.P.
Phone : 0883 - 2007633
Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) under the administrative control of Central Tobacco Research Institute was established (1983) at Kalavacharla village in Rajanagaram Mandal in East Godavari District, 20 km away from CTRI, Rajahmundry with six disciplines i.e., Crop Production, Plant protection, Horticulture, Animal Science Production, Home science and Rural Crafts supported by Audio-Visual Aids. The KVK is actively engaged in transfer of viable and need based, skill oriented and socially sustainable technologies to cater to the needs of the rural and tribal people to improve their socio-economic status. This KVK is also conducting on-farm, off-farm, front-line demonstrations, vacational training programmes and advisory service to the farming community. The KVK has well developed instructional Farm with an area of 14.38 ha where different demonstration units are maintained.
MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS (2014-15)
On-Farm Testings & Frontline Demonstrations:
- A total number of 12 On-Farm Tastings (OFTs) and 17 Front-line Demonstrations (FLDs) were conducted during the year 2014-15.
- In sugar cane, use of single budded nodes as seed material recorded 15% increased yield over the normal set planting. The cost of cultivation was also reduced by Rs. 30, 000/ha.
- Bacterial Leaf Blight (BLB) tolerant RP Bio- 226 (Improved Samba) variety of rice yielded 6.0 t/ha in Kharif against BPT-5204 (4.5t/ha).
- Different horticultural crops like Chilies, Elephant foot yam, Papaya, Guava, Ttomato etc in Kadiam and Alamuru mandals were severely damaged by Snails. Effective control was obtained with bait (Jaggery 6 kg in 12 litres of water + 100 gm Methomyl + 25 kg wheat flour) and about 28% mortality was recorded.
- Skirting of banana bunches with 17 GSM non-woven bags resulted in increase of bunch weight by 2 - 2.5 kg and early harvest by 7 days.
- Virus free selection of Coccinia planting material from farmers field recorded 4 t/ ha yield in 8 months compared to virus infested crop (1.5 t/ha).
- Direct feeding of nutrients (Cow dung, urea, sulphate of potash) to banana bunches resulted in quality and uniform fingers throughout the bunch.
- Introduced Osmanabadi goats for breed improvement.
- Assessed the performance of Black Bengal goats. It was observed that population build up was quick due to regular twinning and often triplets also.
- Jodipi sheep introduced in the local flocks to reduce inbreeding. After 3rd generation the progeny was almost similar to the Jodipi and were well adapted to the conditions.
- In collaboration with ATMA-East Godavari, CTRI-KVK promoted 10 milky mushroom units at Katheru, Konthamuru, Choppella, Dowlaiswaram, Chodavaram villages.
- Coconut Husk Remover was demonstrated to about 200 coconut farmers in Gangalakurru, Vilasavalli, Isukapudi, Ainavaripalem, Vanapalli, Pasarlapudilanka, Ambajipet and Mukkamala villages in East Godavari district.
- Under Agri-Tech Refinement Programme of ATMA-East Godavari, KVK promoted one automatic coir 2-ply yarn making unit (Sri Vijaya Durga Coir Yarns) at S.T.Rajapuram of Rangampeta Mandal .
- a. Palmyrah frond crusher machine: To simplify the fibre extraction process in palm fibre production over Palmyarh fibre separator machine a frond crusher machine was developed.
- Reduces stress in fibre extraction process
- Increases the fibre production by 15 %
- Increase the shelf life period of nails 20%
- b. Motorised press mat Device: To reduce the drudgery involved in making of coir door mats over pressing device. The existing pressing device was fitted with gear box and with the help of 2hp electric motor, the drudgery involved in tightening/ pressing the mat was totally reduced. Further the production was increased by 25%.
- Kisan Mela: In collaboration with ATMA East Godavari district, KVK organised Kisan Mela during 30-3 March, 2015 at KVK, Kalavacharla.
- Demonstrations on Cashew Apple Utilisation (May 2014): Demonstrations on Cashew Apple Utilisation were organised at KVK, Kalavacharla on 8th, 12th, 14th and 16th May, 2014, in collaboration with Directorate of Cashewnut and Cocoa Development (DCCD), Cochin. Four batches of tribal women and youth (100 nos.) from Devipatnam, Rampachodavaram mandals were trained in preparation of various recipes of Cashew apple viz., Cashew apple jam, CA juice, CA chutney, pickle and chips.
- Cashew Exposure Visit: (18.12.2014 to 22.12.2014): KVK, Kalavacharla has organised exposure visit of cashew farmers from Andhra Pradesh to Cashew growing areas of Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) during 18- 24 December 2014 with the financial support of Directorate of Cashewnut and Cocoa Development (DCCD), Cochin.
- Training Programme on Cashew: Organized ‘ Training Programme on Cashew ’ during 7-9th January, and 2-4th February, 2015 at KVK, Kalavacharla in with the financial support of the Directorate of Cashewnut and Cocoa Development (DCCD), Cochin, Kerala. A total number of hundred (100) farmers in two batches of 50 participants each were trained in ‘ Improved Cashew Production Technologies ’