Research & Development
Waste utilization and recycling is another important area of research. Conversion of agro waste into rich organic manure using vermin-tech process has been streamlined. Vermicompost is used commercially in all nurseries as well as fields for better growth. Various biofertilizers and biocontrol agents are being isolated, evaluated and mass multiplied for commercial applications. For mass multiplication of Trichoderma viride, nutritionally rich vermicompost is being used as a carrier material to ensure exceptionally high colony forming units (CFUs). Agronomic studies are carried out regularly and cultural practices followed by the company are updated periodically. Newly launched agrochemicals and implements are also being evaluated for their suitability as per the requirements of the company. Provenance trials of Eucalyptus are being carried out to evaluate different species/cultivars under the forestry programme.
Introduction of Vetiver Grass Technology (VGT) in tea plantations for soil and water conservation is an important contribution by the department. Soil fertility status in various estates is monitored periodically through a Soil Map Project, and appropriate corrective actions are recommended, based on the analytical results. Quality control is another area of priority and all agricultural inputs used by the plantations are tested for their quality requirements before use. The department coordinates various activities related to ISI, GMP, QMS, Rainforest Alliance and ISO 22000 certifications in the plantations/processing facilities. Experiments on new product development/process improvement and quality assurance of products against various requirements are carried out based on requirements. Methods are being developed for testing products to ensure compliance to regulatory requirements and MRLs. The department also undertakes studies related to other than plantation crops such as medicinal and aromatic plants, and their processing for value addition.