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The Prickly Pear: Opuntia Ficus-Indica L. Mill

R.S. Singh (Author) O.P. Pareek (Author) Vishal Nath (Author)
Synopsis The arid region occupies nearly 12 per cent of land surface of the country and is spread over in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Rajasthan occupies the maximum area of arid region having limited sources of irrigation. The climate conditions are hostile having low and erratic rainfall, high wind velocity, high evapo-transpiration and intense solar radiation. Nevertheless, the region has great potential of growing different indigenous and exotic fruit plants which provide nutrition and income security to the people of Thar desert. Due to failure of rains, crop cultivation is risky and uneconomic. Being perennial, fruit plant are drought hardly and thrive well in arid zone. The geophysical and agro-climatic conditions of the region necessitated the introduction of new fruit crops and to develop suitable agro-techniques for sustainable agricultural production in this region. Cactus pear (Opuntia ficus indica Mill.) also known as prickly pear is a crop of multiple uses. It plays an ecological role in soil conservation as well as producing edible fruits and vegetable (nopalitos) for human consumption, forage for livestock and several other value added products. Opuntia ficus indica is a xerophytic, succulent spiny or spineless type, CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) plant. However, for fruit and vegetable (cladode) production, proper fertigation is necessary. Considering its economic potential, suitable types/ cultivars, package of practices, plant protection measures and post harvest technology have been detailed in this book. Since, the crop has been introduced in the country in recent past, the research work on this crop is still lacking. The future strategy and thrust areas to popularize and increasing the fruit production have been projected inj the text which will be helpful to the research workers and farmers as well.
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About the authors

R.S. Singh

Dr. Ramesh Shanker Singh, Ph.D. (b. 1944) is Deputy Director and Head, Divn. of Plant Sciences and Ecology, Regional Research Laboratory (CSIR),Jorhat, Assam. He did Ph.D. in Agronomy form Agra University in 1972 & worked as a CSIR Research Fellow (1969-72) at National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow. He started his career as Lecturer in Mahabir College Ghaziapur, UP. (1967-69). He joined RRL Jorhat in 1972 & was elevated to the rank of Scientist “F” in 1998. He has significant contributions in R & D work on high yielding varieties of medicinal and aromatic plants and also in transfer of technology to industrial concern. Under his guidance 2 scholars has already obtained Ph.D. degree. He is Executive member of many societies & active member of various professional & academic societies. He has published 85 research papers in national & international journals of repute & written chapters in a few books.

Vishal Nath

Prof. Vishal Nath, Ph.D. and ARS has completed his Master's degree from Narendra dev University of Agriculture and Technology, Faizabad during 1990. He completed his Ph.D. degree from Kanpur in (Horticulture) through Agricultural research services (Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi) in the same year. After completion of his Management Training of NAARM, Hyderabad, he joined at central Institute for Sub-tropical Horticulture, Lucknow during 1993-94. Prof. Vishal Nath served as Scientist (Horticulture) at NRC for Arid Horticulture, Bikaner (now Central Institute of Arid Horticulture from 1994 to 1999. He joined as senior scientist at central Horticultural Experiment Station (IIHR), Ranchi on 13.12.1999 and served upto 31.03.2001. From April, 2001 to May, 2005 Prof. Vishal Nath worked with Horticulture Experiement Station (IIHR) ranchi April, 2001 to May, 2005 Prof. Vishal nath worked with Horticulture and Agro-forestry research Programme (ICAR research Complex for Eastern region) as Senior scientist (Horticulture) from where he moved as professor (Horticulture) at Borsa Agricultural University, Ranchi on 19.05.05 Prof. Vishal nath joined as principal Scientist & head, central Horticultural Experiment Station (IIHR), Bhubaneswar on 01.07.2006. Apart from his contribution to National Agricultural Research System (NARS), he has wider exposure to Hi-tech Horticulture being practiced in developed countries like Israel. Prof Vishal Nath has exclusively worked on fruits of major and minor importance being grown in arid and semi-arid and minor importance being grown in arid and semi-arid and minor importance being grown in arid and semi-arid regions and under waste land conditions. He has developed many technologies and varieties of different fruit crops suitable for resource poor areas. He has written several technical bulletins, extension folders and information brochures on these aspects. Prof. Vishal Nath has authored very important books on aird horticulture, LItchi and Fruit Production Technology for Plateau regions which has been widely appreciated by the readers and farmers. Prof. Vishal nath has more than 200 publications on different fruits which includes research papers, polular article, technical bulletins, research manuals and information bulletins in his credit. prof. Vishal nath has wider experience of research, extension and teaching across the country.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Prickly Pear: Opuntia Ficus-Indica L. Mill
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Agrobios (India)
Language: English
isbn 8177540874
length x+76p., Plates; Tables; References; Index; 23cm.