Cactus improves income and nutrition for Indian farmers

February 1, 2012 at 9:05 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The CactusNet team in New Delhi looked at ways to realize the full potential of cactus

The Cactusnet expert network of FAO-ICARDA and ICAR

ICARDA and its partners are helping Indian scientists promote cactus cultivation in a 10,000 ha project in the coming three years.

As a part of this research, ICARDA and its partners are studying the details of cactus production, trading and marketing, and technologies for postharvest management and processing. This includes capacity building and knowledge sharing efforts to spread these practices to others in courses, workshops and technical meetings.

Research questions on cactus cultivation were explored by experts at an  FAO-ICARDA meeting in New Delhi – the International Technical Cooperation Network on Cactus (FAO-ICARDA CactusNet),  that included national Indian policy makers and researchers.

ICARDA scientists are working with national research centers to promote cactus cultivation in India

“Cactus can improve the rural livelihoods and help farmers in arid and semi-arid areas adapt to climate change. Therefore a more aggressive plan is needed to promote cactus cultivation in India”, said Dr S Ayyappan, Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

The meeting examined priorities for cactus research in India, including the management and use of cactus genetic resources, cactus fruit production use of cactus as fodder, and the medicinal properties of cactus products

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