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The Pineapple Research Station at Vazhakulam was established on 2nd January 1995 to give research and development support to pineapple farmers. Since then, this research institute of the Kerala Agricultural University has been steadily growing and serving as a subvention to the pineapple growers of the state and the country as well.
The research institute had a humble beginning on 2.1.1995 as “Pineapple Research Station & Pest and disease Surveillance Unit” under Kerala Horticulture Development Programme (KHDP). For the construction of the office-cum-laboratory building of the station. It was delinked from KHDP and became a constituent research centre of Kerala Agricultural University under central zone on 1.7.1997 and shifted to its own new building on 27.6.1998.
The research centre is located close to the pineapple market at Vazhakulam, 10 km east of Muvattupuzha on the Muvattupuzha - Thodupuzha road in Ernakulam District, Kerala, India. It is about 40 km from Cochin International Air port, Nedumbassery; 50 km from Aluva railway station and 80 km from the Cochin harbour.
Our mandate is to give research and development support to the pineapple growers, provide quality technology, products and services to the pineapple sector and undertake basic and applied research in pineapple and other fruit crops of Kerala.
The research station has modern laboratories in plant biotechnology, phytochemistry, microbiology, Food Technology and Information Technology equipped with adequate items of equipment and network of computers with active internet and WiFi connectivity. The centre has adequate experimantal farm, library, conference room, nursery and sales centre.
The research institute undertakes basic and applied research and development activities in pineapple, passion fruit, banana and other fruit crops of Kerala. The research and development projects are mainly in Participatory technology development (PTD) mode and funded by various agencies as KAU, State and central governments, ICAR, SHM, NHM, etc.
Participatory technology development
The centre has developed scientific technology for the commercial cultivation of Kew and Mauritius varieties of pineapple, including pure cropping, intercropping in rubber and coconut plantations and in reclaimed paddy lands. Technology is developed for organic production. Tissue culture protocols for various varieties of pineapple are available. GI indication of Vazhakulam Pineapple is registered. Participatory technology process and product development in association with sister institutions, Nadukkara Agro Processing Co.Ltd. and Pineapple Farmers' Association for the stake holders is a steady and continuing process at the centre.
Seed & Nursery
The station undertakes large scale production of Tissue Culture Plants of different varieties of Pineapple, Passion fruit and Banana and Seedlings and Rooted cuttings of Passion fruit. They are available for sale at the centre. Booking for the planting materials can be made with advance payment as Demand Draft in favour of Associate Professor & Head, PRS, Vazhakulam payable at State Bank of Travancore, Vengalloor (Code No: 71085) (Bldg No.180/D, Ward 27, Kovilakom Arcade, Vengalloor PO, Thodupuzha - 685608, Kerala, Ph: 0485-2835362). Priority is always given to firm orders with advance payment and delivery will be on first-come-first-serve basis.
Technology transfer is effectively carried out through personal discussions, field visits, phones, emails, website, posts, radio, TVs, news papers, periodicals, publications, pineapple fests, seminars. trainings, etc. Publications such as leaflets, palmlets, books, CDs, DVDs, etc covering various aspects of cultivation and utilization of the mandatory crops of the station are also being undertaken.
With the objective of developing and promoting local self help groups (SHGs), short term trainings on Tissue culture, pineapple cultivation, preservation, processing, value addition, etc are offered to unemployed youths. Fee based training programs on payment basis subject to the terms and conditions (in Word / PDF) issued by Kerala Agricultural University from time to time are available for UG and PG candidates in Biotechnology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Food Technology, Information Technology, etc. for gaining hands-on experience and building up a good career. They can work in the well equipped laboratories of the station along with the R & D Team of the centre for gaining first hand experience. They can acquaint with the operation of various equipment like Gel documentation, ELISA Reader & washer, PCR, Colourimeter, UV-Transilluminator, Flame photometer, Centrifuge, Microscopes, Electrophoresis, Shakers, ovens, Precision Weighing balances, Deep freezer, BOD, Laminar Air Flow, still, etc. They will get excellent opportunities to become well-versed with scientific research methodologies and protocols in their field. They will be provided ample opportunities at the station to develop their expertise, skills and efficiency and build high performing teams for executing ambitious tasks. Success is our way of life.
Earnest efforts are also being taken to acquire free government land nearby as a permanent farm for raising various fruit plants, conserving germplasm and conducting field research, besides establishing adequate infrastructure for further development and diversification, renaming the station as Tropical Fruit Crops Research Station (TFCRS). It is also proposed to establish a fruit processing laboratory with FPO registration at the centre for the efficient conversion of leftover fruits to value added products like squash, jam, syrup, etc.
Besides pineapple, since Vazhakulam and neighbouring areas are well-known for other fruit crops like banana, mango, jack, papaya, passion fruit, rambutan, mangosteen, etc, and there is no research station in the district catering to the needs of these farmers, Pineapple Research Station, Vazhakulam visualizes to be Tropical Fruit Crops Research Station (TFCRS) in the near future. This advanced research centre of excellence dreams to be the ultimate authority and provider of excellent quality technology, products and services in tropical fruit crops through concerted research and development efforts sustained by best human resource and infrastructure development in line with Our Motto ‘Quality People & Infrastructure for Quality Technology, Products & Services and Merit alone counts for Quality suitable for the purpose’.
You are welcome
You are welcome to this research centre of Kerala Agricultural University any time preferably with intimation. But please visit our website http://prsvkm.kau.in to know more about Pineapple Research Station and call us before you come. Whenever, you pass-by Vazhakulam/Muvattupuzha please drop in to our station for a friendly discussion. Your constructive comments, suggestions and criticisms are gratefully appreciated and acknowledged as they help us advance in the right direction. Let's together strive for a better morrow.
Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character.
When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home.
When there is harmony in the home, there is an order in the nation.
When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.
……. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
PRS Research and Development Efforts ...
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