Future Vision and Potentials
Apart from these 11 Research stations which are catering to the research needs in major horticultural crops, there is every need, scope to establish new research station which should cater mainly to the dry land crops as the state is having vast tracts of dry lands and majority of the farming system are under the dry land crops category. Further as the demand of chillies and onion are increasing day by day and with the amenability of cultivating potato in Telangana region, there is also need and scope for the establishment of the dedicated research station for chillies and onion and potato. Keeping this scenario, the future vision of the SKLTSHU is to establish the following research stations
- Dry land Horticultural Research Station at Mahaboobnagar district
- Chilli and seed spice Research Station, Warangal district
- Potato and Onion Research station at Zaheerabad, Medak district
To further improve the quality of the research work, a state of art PG research center with all the infrastructure and latest equipment is being established at Mulugu, the new headquarters of the SKLTSHU.
New Research Stations
1. Dry land Horticultural Research Station at Mahaboobnagar
- Owing to dry climate, Telangana state has highest potential for the increase in the acreage of dry fruit crops like pomegranate, fig, custard apple, ber, anola, wood apple, beal, sapota and guava.
- Under the climate change scenario, growing dry land horticultural crop is the only alternative for improving the economic status of the farmers. More and more farmers are growing dry land horticultural crops instead of regular agricultural crops.
- Growing dry land horticultural crops which has high water use efficiency is the best alternative in the present scenario of climate change stimulated vagaries like drought particularly in Mahaboobnagar district of Telangana.
- However, the Telangana state has very less acreage of dry land crops like custard apple (2759 ha), Pomegranate (765 ha), Sapota (1312 ha), fig and ber (negligible). And hence increasing the acreage of the dry land horticulture crop is the only alternative for increasing the economic status of farmers of Telangana which will ultimately prevent farmers suicide.
- Apart from this new crop introduction like Kinnow, Date palm and Apple ber can also be encouraged in the state as the state is congenial for growing these crops.
- Under these scenario, there is every need to give impetus to dry land horticultural crops by establishing a dedicated Research Station at Mahaboobnagar with mandate crops of pomegranate, fig, custard apple, sapota, ber, anola, wood apple, beal and guava.
2. Chilli and seed spice Research Station
- In Telangana State, chilli (dry) is grown in 9 districts out of 10 districts with highest acreage in Khamman followed by Warangal districts. There is a huge area under green chillies in Medak and Rangareddy districts. The average productivity of chillies is 3 M.t/ha.
- In Warangal district of Telangana, exclusively chapta variety of chilli is grown and framers are getting remunerative price for this variety. Further, the oleoresin content of Telangana chillies is high upto 11.2 %.
- In the undivided Andhra Pradesh, chilli research station located at LAM, Guntur was catering to the needs of the chillie farmers of the state with more emphasis on the location based research specific to Guntur and Andhra Region.
- Now, the area under chilli for green and dry is alarmingly increasing thereby emphasising for need based location specific research on the crop in the state. Hence, an urgent need to establish chilli research station. To this effect land to an extent of 85 acres has already been procured near Warangal.
3. Potato and Onion Research station at Zaheerabad
- In Telangana, potato is grown in Medak (4530 ha and 90760 MT), Rangareddy (394 ha and 7880 MT) and Khammam (1970 ha and 39,400 MT) districts.
- Majority of the potato cultivation (70-80 %) in Medak district is under drip irrigation system, a progressive system of cultivation which is yet to be followed in many of the major potato growing states.
- The productivity of potato in Telangana state is higher than other potato growing states which clearly indicate the potential scope for increasing the thrust on potato cultivation in Telangana State.
- In Telangana, onion is grown in an area of 33851 ha with a total cumulative production of 609318 Mt. Among the district, the leading onion producing district is Mahaboobnagar (153630 MT) followed by Medak (95859 MT). Ginger and garlic areas also increasing in the Telangana region particularly in Medak district.
- There is every need to increase the area of the onion and because of suitable climate condition of Telangana this crop has huge potential in reducing the climate vagaries faced by Telangana farmers.
- However, the farmers are facing certain problems in the procurement of the seed tubers particularly potato and onion, non availability of the location specific suitable varieties adoptable to local conditions, information on fertigation, mechanisation and post harvest storage. Research is lacking on the location specific technologies suitable for the region.
- Hence, there is every need to establish a dedicate Research Station on potato, onion near Zaheerabad, Medak district due to its favourable climatic conditions for these crops and for the benefit of potato and onion farmers of the region and Telangana state at large.
PG Research Centre
Even though, the research system of SKLTSHU is strong enough, the generation of technologies is taking longer time both due to lack of advanced infrastructure and equipment and also to the effects of changing climatic factor which are fast reorienting the research objectives. To generate the climate resilient technologies the present infrastructure and outdated equipment is not sufficient and is becoming a major handicap. Under such scenario, it is proposed to establish a world class advanced research facility (PG Research Center) at MULUGU headquarter of SKLTSHU. This facility will have all the latest world class advanced equipment related to traditional departments like physiology, biochemistry, biotechnology, food processing to most advanced recent departments like nano technology, omics, genomic labs, radiations labs. These laboratories will facilitate advanced research of Research stations of SKLTSHU as well as PG (M.Sc, PhD) and Post doctoral research of colleges. The facility will go a long way in augmenting and accelerating the technology generation.
Establishment of above new research centres in Telangana will strategically benefit the farmers in realising remunerative prices under climate change vagaries and ultimately prevent farmer’s suicides. On 7th January, 2016, the foundation stone of Sri Konda Laxman Telangana state horticultural University at MULUGU, Medak district was laid out and establishment of new campus will go a long way in generating the latest technologies like fertigation, high density farming, and farm mechanization, protected cultivation thus realising the vision of horticulture in Telangana state under climate change scenario.