Performance of China aster cv. Arka Kamini in Chikkaballapur under ICRISAT-IIHR Bhoo-Samrudhi Project
China Aster (Callistephus chinensis L.) is a new emerging flower crop. it is cultivated worldwide as an ornamental plant in home garden. ICAR-IIHR identified a China Aster cv. Arka Kamini for high yield. This variety was popularized under IIHR-ICRISAT Bhoo- samrudhi project in four district of Karnataka. Sri- Shivananda, a progressive farmer of Yidagur village of Gowribidanur Taluk of Chikkaballapur District raised half acre of China Aster cv. Arka Kamini at his field during kharif season 2019-20. Seeds of China Aster cv. Arka Kamini were given to Sri- Shivananda by ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru and KVK, Chikkaballapur under ICRISAT-IIHR Bhoo-Samrudhi Project. He raised in nursery under the guidance of scientists of ICAR-IIHR, Bangalore namely Dr. R. Senthil Kumar, Dr. Rajeev Kumar , Dr. A.K. Nair, Dr J. Sathisha , Ms Laxmi, SO, ICRISAT and transplanted the crop in the month of August at a distance of 30 cm between plants and 45 cm between rows. He has followed standard package of practices recommended by ICAR-IIHR. Sri- Shivananda was constantly in touch with IIHR scientists (Dr. R. Senthil Kumar , Dr P. C. Tripathi) and KVK, Chintamani Staff and Ms Laxmi, SO ICRISAT visited his field regularly under Bhoo-Samrudhi Project. The flower became ready to harvest in the month of October coinciding with festival of Dashahara and Deepawali. The farmer realized very good flower yield of 1.0 t from half acre and could sell the produce @ average rate of Rs. 60 per kg in nearby market i. e. APMC Gowribidanur. The colour of Aka Kamini was preferred in the market. He was very happy with the performance of China Aster cv. var. Arka Kamini in terms of better flower colour, size and uniform flowering. The farmer spend total Rs. 30,000/- on labour and all other inputs and he got total income of Rs.60,000/- from half acre area. He earned a net profit of Rs 30,000 from half acre for three months crop duration and very much satisfied. The farmer expressed happiness that he has got good yield and net profit with IIHR China Aster cv. var. Arka Kamini. He opined that as the variety produces early flower with attractive colour, which are very much preferred in the local markets and fetches higher price. Once he started growing yard long bean in his field, neighbouring famers also came to know about this variety and field performance which he was grown in the field. He has also motivated other farmers in the village and neighbouring villages also to grow this kind of improved variety which was developed by ICAR-IIHR. By seeing the excellent performance of var. Arka Kamini a field day of China aster was organized at his field which was attended by almost 50 farmers. The farmers of the village and nearby villages expressed their interest for taking up cultivation of Arka Kamini.