Agri Business

Kerala Agricultural University develops a new Vetiver variety for soil conservation

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on August 22, 2019 Published on August 22, 2019

The new variety of Vetiver exhibits enhanced growth, tillering, root yield, root spread and oil content   -  File photo

Vetiver is an aromatic medicinal plant cultivated along the coastal regions of Kerala

Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has developed a new variety of Vetiver, which would be ideal for both oil yield and soil conservation.

Vetiver or Ramacham, in local parlance, is an aromatic medicinal plant and is being cultivated in Kerala for oil yield along the coastal regions of around 600 acres in Chavakkad and Ponnani areas in Thrissur.

The University has identified a new south Indian type Vetiver accession with profuse root growth for soil binding in sloppy lands and coastal areas.

According to experts, South Indian Vetiver variety is considered to be the best quality for oil production as it help produce around 20-25 kg oil from more than five tonnes of root.

The Aromatic Medicinal Plant Research Station under KAU has found a new Vetiver type which is suited for hedge planting in soil conservation because of its non flowering nature, good growth performance, high root penetration and drought tolerance, R Chandrababu, Vice Chancellor, KAU said.

The new type has been approved by the University level variety evaluation committee and is to be placed before State Level Variety Release Committee before it is popularized for soil conservation, said P Indira Devi, Director of Research,, KAU.

Properties of the new Vetiver

The new variety (ODV-7) -- which is proposed to be named as Bhoomika due to its special soil binding properties -- exhibits enhanced growth, tillering, root yield, root spread and oil content than the already released variety ODV-3.

The low canopy height, drooping leaves covering soil surface and extensive fibrous roots makes it ideal for soil and water conservation. Hence it can be planted along contour lines in hills, along sides of sloppy areas, drainage channels, ponds, as protective partitions in terraced fields and as border plant for roads and gardens.

It can also be cultivated as an aromatic crop for root and oil production in open areas with good sunshine.

Published on August 22, 2019
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