Innovation of the day

Improved varieties of Crossandra and Casuarina

Shri Vengadapathi Reddiar a Padma Shri awardee and a proficient personality in the field of horticulture has developed various new varieties of Casuarina and Crossandra. The varieties of Casuarina are tolerant to major insects-pests and has uniform growth with higher wood yield. The special characteristics of Crossandra varieties are attractive colours with tolerance to diseases. Presently, he has developed 14 varieties of Casuarina (like MIQ and Modi-1) by cross breeding, gamma irradiation induction followed by selection and about 100 varieties of Crossandra (such as Modi-1-3 and Kalam-1-3) by induced mutation and cross-pollination. He is also working on improving crops such as Ghee chilli, brinjal, lemon, amaranthus and neem for improvement purpose. Crop variety improvement by using gamma radiation and subsequent selection is an innovative approach of Shri Vengadapathi Reddiar.

Unique features of the variety

A. Crossandra flower variety

  • Different attractive colors: dark red to yellow
  • Better shelf life
  • Disease tolerance

B. Casuarina tree-crop variety

  • High wood yield (200 tons/acre after 5 year)
  • 90 percent uniformity in growth
  • Insect tolerance

During 2016, National innovation Foundation- India (NIF) conducted an on-site evaluation of Casuarina varieties in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh against local variety and result revealed more height and more yield than local variety. The reports at farmers field indicated that the performance of the variety was appreciable and was superior in term of yield. Crossandra spp has been taken by various research institutes as a treatment for comparing their varieties such as by Dr. YSR Horticultural University. Feedback from various sources including institutes, forest officer and farmers is appreciable in terms of higher yield with good quality, shelf life and adaptability in different agro-climatic conditions. Germplasm of Crossandra spp. has been submitted in NBPGR, New Delhi.

For the outstanding efforts he has received many prestigious accolades and recognitions, in 2012 he was awarded Padma Shri by Government of India. During March, 2017, he was conferred with a National award by the honorable President of India in Festival of Innovation-2017.

For availing the saplings of Casuarina and Crossandra variety the innovator may be contacted at: Laxminarayana's Crossandra Innovation Centre, No. 6, Near Perumal Koil street, Village & Post - Koodapakkam, Villianoor, State - Puducherry- 605502, Cell Number - 9443226611.

You may also contact directly to National Innovation Foundation-India at: 02764261131/ 32/ 38/ 39 Grambharti, Amrapur, Gandhinagar-Mahudi Road Gandhinagar, Gujarat Pin: 382721(

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