Adi Pepper Demo Farm & Research Center
“I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own.” – Andy Warhol
Born and raised in the highlands of Kodagu, I have always been fascinated by the rich biodiversity of this region. My two decades of experience in the plantation industry has made me realize the importance of indigenous crops to the native regions. Setting up Adi Pepper Demo Farm & Research Center in 2015 was an attempt towards understanding and developing the indigenous crops which have been neglected in recent years.
- N N Poonacha, Founder – Adi Pepper Demo farm & Research Center
The main objective is to focus on the research & development and to promote the indigenous crops which are found in the high altitude, high rainfall, and mist hungover regions of the Western Ghats.
Crops that thrive in their natural habitat without damaging the biodiversity and that do not depend extensively on irrigation or any other artificial water sources apart from the rains need to be nurtured and promoted.
Why this site is important?
Through this website, we intend to share information on the best practices and methods of cultivation and to create awareness among the farming community to become ‘Prakruthipara’ (eco-friendly) and self-sustainable.
Kodagu is a district that has diverse landscapes. Coffee, Pepper, and Cardamom are some of the main commercial crops grown here. These crops require specific conditions to thrive and are not suitable for all types of landscapes. In recent years, irregular monsoon, lack of skilled labor and depletion in the groundwater levels have been a cause of concern. To add to the misery, every year, the high-altitude ranges of Kodagu experiences extreme climatic conditions.
Today, crops like coffee and pepper are too reliant on silver oak for shading and climbing. Silver oak is not native to the region and is an invasive tree that has adverse effects on the natural biodiversity of the region.
To mitigate these issues, our focus is to bring about reform and develop crops that not only help our farming community but also improve the biodiversity of this region.
Over the years, farmers belonging to interior areas of Western Ghats have not been able to produce high yields owing to heavy rainfall and high altitude. We aim to educate and give insights to the farmers on suitable crops, best practices, and methods to cultivate economically and sustainably.
Many indigenous crops that were once cultivated in these regions are now neglected due to a lack of knowledge and support. We are trying to bring awareness of the advantages of cultivating these crops. Native and indigenous crops help in retaining the biodiversity of the region. These crops cohabitate with nature and require less care and maintenance. The crops are non-water or require very less watering and are ideal for the landscape which is typically steep and sloppy terrains.
Our focus is on the crops which require less water and enable the farmers to conserve water and ensure water supply throughout the year for domestic purposes. It will also avoid the need for borewells and water tanks which harm the biodiversity of the area.
Adi pepper is one such crop that is indigenous and ideal for this region. Compared to the other varieties of pepper, it is drought tolerant, requires less maintenance, and is disease resistant.
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