Dr. Gobinda Ch Acharya is working as a Principal Scientist (Horticulture), and Head, CHES, ICAR-IIHR, Bhubaneswar. He has completed his Ph.D. in Horticulture from OUAT, Bhubaneswar in 2005 with specialization on Fruit, and Plantation.
In the context of involvement in agricultural research, he played multiple roles as a research scientist developing tangible outcomes for diverse stakeholders combined with participatory transfer of technology for successful adoption of the technologies and as head of station for a period of 12 years. My experience as research is broadly divided into three categories; (i) Plantation based research for Sub-Himalayan Terai Region of West Bengal (ii) Plantation based research for North Eastern region and (iii) Development and refinement of technologies for improving productivity of fruit and vegetable crops in east coast regions of India.
Carried out extensive research on collection, conservation and cataloguing of coconut and arecant germplasm which resulted identification and development of four arecanut varieties namely Madhurmangala, Nalbari, Kahikuchi, Shathamangala with wider adoptability and market preference. Extensive exploration to different parts of North East and eastern region resulted in collection of trait specific accessions of coconut and arecanut including cold tolerance and dwarf plant habit character of coconut. Native germplasm of coconut, arecanut along with released varieties and hybrids were evaluated for their performance under Assam and North eastern region. Location specific, purpose specific two arecanut based High Density Multispecies Cropping system models was developed for North Eastern region of the country comprising component crops like black pepper, banana and lemon and is extensively adopted by the farming community. Water requirement and comparative efficacy for different systems of irrigation was standardized in arecanut. Standardization of Integrated Nutrient Management study with substitution of chemical fertilizer was made for improved varieties of arecanut. Extensive survey was undertaken for development of database on major diseases and pests of important plantation crops. Systematic survey was undertaken for eriophyid mite in five districts of Assam and Incidence of red palm weevil in arecanut was reported for the first time in Assam. Native isolates of Trichoderma spp. and Pseudomonas fluorescens along with plant botanicals were tested in vitro against major diseases of plantation crops.
Efforts are undertaken to conserve genetic resources of fruits and vegetables as a priority for future breeding programme and till date 187 germplasm of fruit crops and 817 numbers of vegetable germplasm were conserved and maintained. Importance was given for survey, collection and characterization of local germplasm of fruits and vegetables. Till date, 24 underutilized fruit, 120 germplasm of dolichos bean, and more importantly 30 wild/ underutilized edible leafy vegetables other than amaranthus were conserved and morphological, nutritional and biochemical characterization are being carried out. Bacterial wilt resistance study was carried out in advanced breeding lines, genotypes and wild species and CARI-1 based hybrids showed superiority against resistance. Screening of chili against bacterial wilt identified a germplasm having 96.5 per cent resistant and can be used in vegetable grafting purpose. Moringa germplasm rich in major macro and micro-nutrients have been established though leaf nutritional profiling. Edible leafy vegetables are subjected to nutritional and biochemical profiling for exploring the possibility of identifying and developing to a commercial crop having good nutritional value. Mango-based multistory cropping system with dragon fruit and pine apple has been developed for the east coast region. Extensive research lead to the development of protein rich germplasm of dolichos variety “Arka Neelachal Pushti”, three amaranthus varieties and one brinjal variety (Arka Neelachal Yodha) with resistance to bacterial wilt and nematode. Till now, I guided 6 M.Sc (Ag) and 2 Ph.D students for successful award of degrees. I am also involved by giving scientific inputs of Scientific Advisory Committee Meeting different Krishi Vigayn Kendras of the State.
Collaboration with State Department
Significant contribution have been made to the development of Horticulture as (i) Member of Technical Support Group committee under Directorate of Horticulture, (ii) member of Task Force on production and productivity of fruit and vegetable crops for the state of Odisha, under Directorate of Horticulture, Govt of Odisha, (iii) member of the Task team under “5T” for the objective “Self Sufficiency in selected fruits and vegetables” under Govt of Odisha, (iv) member of Expert Advisory Group for Floriculture under Directorate of Horticulture, Govt of Odisha, (v) member of the “Resource group for Implementation of crop diversification Programme” for Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment, Govt of Odisha, (vi) member of the Technical Committee for Jackfruit Mission launched by State Government, (vii) member of the Technical Committee for scrutiny of DPR of new projects submitted to RKVY, Deptt of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment, Govt of Odisha, (viii) member of the “Expert Committee for selection of Technical Products for pest management” under Directorate of Agriculture and Food Production, Odisha, (ix) member of “finalization of production cost of different quality planting materials in departmental farms and nurseries” under directorate of Horticulture, Govt of Odisha, (x) member for studying the value chain of mango etc. Apart from that, several external funded project from MIDH and RKVY have been received and handled which includes: (i) (i) Social and economic empowerment through dedicated seed production clusters, (ii) Setting up of incubation and large scale production of Arka Microbial Consortium, (iii) Vegetable grafting-establishment of model vegetable grafting nursery to tackle biotic and abiotic constraints, (iv) establishment of post-harvest cum quality analysis laboratory, (v) Establishment of virus indexing laboratory, (v) In vitro plant multiplication of underutilized cucurbits, (vi) Development of demonstration models of mango + dragon fruit and pine apple.
Exposure visits, training; both on-campus and off-campus, frontline demonstrations, exhibitions, field days, farmers meet etc were organized for effective dissemination of technologies. Tribal Sub-Plan and Scheduled caste sub-plan have been implemented successfully in different parts of the state. Conducted regular training programme (both on-campus and off-campus), seminars, symposia, workshops to showcase the recent technologies in horticultrue for the benefit of farming community and other stake holders. Participated as a collaborator in the project Farm based S & T interventions for socio-economic development” of Nabarangpur district of Odisha. Collaborated with NABARD as service provider in the alternate crop plan/ IFS models (beyond paddy initiatives) and Integrated Tribal Development (Wadi) project. Associated with FARMERS FIRST project under ICAR-NRRI in four villages of Cuttack district. Acted as a member of Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of different KVKS like KVK, Santhapur (ICAR-NRRI), KVK Dhenkanal, KVK Boudh, KVK Sambalpur, KVK Malkangiri, KVK Kandhamal, KVK Sundergarh-II and KVK Ganjam. Acted as a member of RKVY Incubation Committee for selection of Entrepreneurs under VIKAS-RABI, ICAR-NRRI. Nominated as a member of District Monitoring Committee to monitor the activities pertaining to Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture (ARYA) project to be implemented in Ganjam Dist of Odisha
During the tenure of my job in research scientific positions, I received many awards like (i) Best arecanut scientist award for the biennium 2014 instituted by All India Supari Federation through Indian Society of Plantation Crops, (ii) Skoch National Award for significant contribution in the project “Farm based S & T interventions for socio-economic development” of Nabarangpur district of Odisha, (iii) best E-poster award in “National online training on “conservation, management and utilization of horticultural genetic resources for livelihood and nutritional security, (iv) Best externally aided project for involvement in Farmer FIRST programme being implemented under ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, (v) Krushaka Bandhu Award by Odisha Krushaka Mancha, (vi) Krushaka Bandhu Award by Odisha Krushaka Samaj
Published more than 150 articles consisting of research articles, papers presented in seminar & symposia, extension bulletin, popular articles, book/book chapters etc and a list is enclosed.
Experience in research/development/ extension in brief