Agri Business

Now, a dwarf cashew variety for terrace gardens

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on February 18, 2021

A view of stem galling in the Netra Vaman dwarf variety

A new dwarf variety of cashew “Netra Vaman” has been developed that can help people interested in growing cashewnut in their homestead gardens or those who are fond of bonsai plants.

Releasing the variety at the Cashew Day celebrations at the Puttur-based Directorate of Cashew Research (DCR), MG Nayak, Principal Scientist at the directorate, made it clear that this variety is not for yield advantage.

Features

Highlighting the salient features of this variety, Nayak said that ‘Netra Vaman’ grows to a height of less than 2.5 meters. It was evaluated for about 10 years and found unique with respect to plant height, compact spreading habit, nut size and apple colour and quality. Though the variety does not yield much, it can grow well even under shade, he said.

Stating that the nuts are small in size weighing less than seven grams, he said cashew apple has an attractive colour and less fibre content. The variety is responsive to pruning. With long flowering duration, it starts flowering in the first year of planting.

To a query by BusinessLine whether this variety is resistant to drought and pests, he said cashew as such is tolerant to drought. “We have not done it in the irrigated condition. With irrigation, it can perform better. This is not pest-resistant. It is susceptible to tea mosquito menace. We don’t have information on stem-borer till now,” he said.

Mohana GS, Principal Scientist, DCR, said the yield from this variety is less when compared to other varieties. Since it is a dwarf variety, this variety gives a yield of a maximum of 1.5-2 kg a plant. Tall varieties bear around 25 kg in the 10th year.

Why dwarf variety?

Highlighting the advantage of this variety, he said though the yield is more in tall varieties of cashew, they require efforts such as pruning every year. Under the ultra-high density (UHD) method, growers can accommodate more than 400 plants on an acre. As of now, all the varieties grown under UHD have to be pruned every year to the height of 5 ft.

For this, they can go for UHD in dwarf variety.

The activities such as spraying and harvesting are easy in the dwarf variety when compared to the normal varieties.

Stating that ‘Netra Vaman’ is suitable for homestead gardens, he said this variety can also be grown in coconut gardens where there is around 60 per cent sunshine and 40 per cent shade.

Nayak said that extensive trials were limited to a few locations of DCR in Puttur and nearby areas. Asked if the test results can be replicated on the farm land, Mohana replied in the positive.

Published on February 17, 2021

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