Mr. Raghavan Nair is a gulf returnee in his late seventies actively engaged in farming at Thamarakkulam, Alappuzha. Banana, vegetables, fruit crops and tubers are the main food crops he grows in his field of one acre farm land. In banana cultivation, he faced serious problem due to pseudostem weevil (Odoiporus longicollis) which is a serious weevil pest of banana especially the cv. Nendran. He tried several indigenous practices as well as remedies recommended by the pesticide shop keepers; but all in vain. Being a marginal farmer, he couldn’t afford 20-40% crop loss due to the menace of pseudostem weevil attack in ‘Nendran’. At this juncture, Mr. Nair approached KVK and utilized the technology back up from here.
Mr. Raghavan Nair attended training on scientific pest management in banana during 2017 and got acquainted with different symptoms of pest infestation and their management. The field visits made by experts from KVK provided him ad hoc recommendations to solve the problems then and there. In 2018, when KVK started OFT on assessment of safe and low cost techniques in pseudostem weevil management in Nendran banana, Mr. Nair became a partner farmer. Through the continuous interactions with the KVK experts he could apply all the scientific management practices in his filed especially in banana pest management.
Pseudostem weevil in banana could be easily managed with sufficient precautions taken during active growth stage of the plant. ‘Nanma’ an organic pesticide developed by ICAR-CTCRI, Thrivananathapuram @50ml/l as spary on pseudostem and leaf axil filling at three times from 4MAP was initially adopted by him to contain the pest. The experience gained from OFT prompted him to use eco friendly green labelled synthetic pesticide viz., thiamethoxam at 0.03% as injection @10ml/plant at 5 and 6MAP, as the technology was found safe as well as cheap compared to ‘Nanma’. By adopting the new technology, he could save 100% of his crop with no weevil damage. Thus by avoiding the crop loss he could earn Rs.8000/- more income than the previous year.
The technology was spread through farmer to farmer technology dissemination. Around ten nearby banana farmers were also started adopting these effective and low cost technologies in their fields. The Krishi Bhavan also initiated steps to further expand the adoption of the technologies through their developmental programmes.