Dwarf, high yielding arecanut variety

Dwarf, high yielding arecanut variety

Name : Narayana Bhat

District & State :  -1, Karnataka

Category : Consumer durables

Award :   Consolation

Award Function :   2nd National Grassroots Innovation Awards

Award Year : 2002

Shri Narayana Bhatt (65 years), lives with his wife and three children. Shri Bhatt, a graduate is cultivating around 12 acres of plantations crops like arecanut, spices, fruits and medicinal plants at Bantwala taluk in South Kanara. He is a member of local education trust. Being a good orator, he is invited regularly to farmer meets to deliver lecture on issues related to systematic farming. He is having a nursery to sell seedlings of plantation and spices crops.

Shri Narayan Bhatt has a large number of arecanut trees at his farm. High yielding areca trees grow up to a height of 13-16 meters at the age of 30-35 years. Climbing these trees is a risky job for which skilled labour is required. Shri Bhatt faced the problem of getting good skilled laboureres for the task. This made him to think of developing a dwarf arecanut variety. Eighteen years back he brought and planted `Hirehally Dwarf' variety, which is dwarf and for which spraying and harvesting was very easy but yield was only two to three bunches and distance between internodes was one cm. It was very easy to protect plant from direct sun light. He had also planted another high yielding tall variety `Mohith Nagar', in which spraying and harvesting was very difficult. He thought of crossing these two varieties to get, a dwarf and high yielding variety.

For this purpose the innovator sent his eldest son, Vinay to learn the technique of cross-pollination at CPCRI, Kasargod. They tried cross pollination in arecanut tree and have now come up with dwarf areca nut variety. He started this experiment in 1997 and crossed Heerehally dwarf (male) x Mohith Nagar (female) and also Mohith Nagar (Male x Heerehally (dwarf). The nuts obtained were planted in the next season. He got dwarf, tall and medium height plants in F2. He removed tall plants and selected dwarf and medium plants.

At present the dwarf plants are in the field and are about two years old. Tall variety grows to 50-60 ft., bears 4-5 bunches, yields about 450-500 ripened nuts. Heerehalli Dwarf grows to 20-25 ft, bears one bunch and yields 100-150 riped nuts. He had crossed these two and developed a new variety that is 20-25 ft and yields an average of 400-500 nuts.