Rajahmundry: To help boost export potential and earn foreign exchange, nursery farmers from the popular Kadiam nurseries are being trained in various techniques. These range from raising plants to tackling pest problem and export them especially to suit the needs of foreign buyers.
It is being conducted by the Hyderabad-based National Institute of Plant Health Management in East Godavari. The famers underwent training from the plant experts of NIPHM in Rajahmundry from January 24 and 25 in the first phase and they will be trained on pest management in due course of time.
The farmers export plant material for avenue plantation, crotons, coconut plants and mango of Banginapalli variety of plants mainly to cater to the needs of domestic market in states like Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal. The farmers export plant material and plants worth about Rs 300 crore to domestic market per annum while exports to international market especially to Dubai, Qatar and Singapore is pegged at a mere Rs 15 crore annum.
The horticulture authorities intend to intervene at this level to enhance the export potential given the huge demand for plants and plant material from Kadiam nurseries.
As the international ma-rket has set up certain norms for export of plant material and plants, the authorities are making efforts to bring about awareness among the farmers to use certain material like coco peat and peat moss to use in pots while keeping the plants in them meant for export.
This material is light in weight unlike black soil and easy to transport. Similarly, the plants meant for export need to be free from pests so the far-mers are to be trained in pest management especially in pest like Whitefly. Badam plants and temple trees are more sought after plants from Kadiam nurseries overseas.
Horticulture assistant director K. Chittibabu said, “We are trying to enrich the conventional knowledge of Kadiam nursery farmers by exposing them to latest scientific techniques in cultivation and export of plants”.
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