Pepper is highly susceptible to some diseases. Every farmer is in search of a disease-free pepper variety. There are a lot of varieties, but till today there was no such resistant variety was noticed. But recently one mutant variety called Sigandhini has been identified as a disease-resistant variety by the Indian Institute of spice research Kozhikode. This variety is identified in farmer’s fields, it is one of the first variety patented to a farmer.
Disease and pest resistant varieties and also special character varieties can be noticed anywhere. Nature is the creator of all these. If we notice it will come in front of us. Otherwise, it will be ruined. If you observe and notice it, you will become the whole and sole owner of that. Here Mr. Ramakanta Hegade, observed a crossed variety We all know about the story of Siddu Jack fruit, It is also a mutant. It was noticed by Siddalingappa, and he approached concerned specialists, later he got a patent for this variety also. Like that here Hegade did the same procedure and got patented to that special character pepper variety. It is possible for others also. Here Mr. Ramakantha Hegade explains how he observed this and what procedure he followed to obtain a patent for this variety.
We will take you into the pepper garden of Sri Ramakanta Hegade, of Hunsekoppa, Siddapura taluk, North Kanara, Karnataka, In his garden by chance this variety is noticed. He grows pepper in his areca nut garden. He is cultivating Local and Panniyur varieties for many years. The pepper-growing history of North Kanara is centuries back. Because of disease, there is a lot of up and downs in crop production. Now farmers are taking almost care to survive vines based on scientific measures. So that now the glory of pepper crop is in the boom. Shri Ramakanta Hegade, and his forefathers are areca growers and pepper growers. In his garden, he observed a variety that is not affected by the disease when others are destroyed. He informed a well-known pepper scientist Dr. Venugopal (retd. Senior scientist of IISR), and he collected its database and studied its all aspects and was satisfied.
How Sigandhini is observed?
- The Sigandhini, which is not developed by me, says Mr. Hegade.
- It is naturally obtained in my garden.
- Around 15 years back, almost all areca growers concentrated on the costliest spice intercrop Vanilla.
- At that time almost all farmers neglected their pepper garden and it become disease affected.
- Within a short period, the Vanilla crop becomes nonprofitable.
- During that time farmers get back to Pepper cultivation.
- At the same time, Mr. Hegade observed two vines are not affected by disease he said, ‘I observed this variety for three years.
- During that time I Consulted Dr. Venugopal, an eminent spice scientist, who is visiting almost all pepper growing belts of Malenadu.
- Dr. observed many favorable characteristics in this vine and he collected the samples and tested all parameters of its resistance.
- He advised and guided me to present this to IISR Kozhikode.
- At the same time, I informed to local (Siddapura) Horticulture department also.
- They guided me to get a patent for this variety.
- I finished all procedures and then the scientist team visited my farm and collected all samples along with a few rooted plants.
- They planted this in all their research stations and observed the character and then found the variety is Disease resistant.
- Then Dr. Venugopal sir advised me to take the patent from the authority.
- Local horticulture department officials (Sri Mahabaleshwara and Dada Saheb) supported me in technical aspects.
- Ultimately according to the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Right Act.2001 (PPVFR Act) I got a patent for this variety’.
- It is the first of this kind in Karnataka a farmer got a patent for the Pepper variety.
What is the advantage of Patenting?
- Patent means the ownership of the variety. Variety is registered in the name of a farmer.
- If any person got a patent on a variety, he only multiply this plant.
- Without the owner’s permission, nobody can multiply, duplicate and sell this.
- It is a punishable offense also.
- The patented variety has got DNA fingerprints also.
- So no duplication is possible. Before patenting a variety the authorized personnel has to observe the characters and all parameters.
- First, for 8 years they will give whole right.
- If required they will extend it to another 8 years.
- For the last 5 years, Mr. Hegade propagated around 2 lakhs of plants and supplied them to almost all pepper-growing areas.
- There all farmers’ feedback is very good. He is maintaining a small nursery.
- He intends to spread the disease-resistant variety and its preservation anywhere.
Procedure for Getting right on Variety:
- First of all, the farmer can write a detailed letter on his observation he found on the variety to Head office of PPVFR new Delhi.
- They instruct the Local Horticulture University personnel to visit the farm and observe the reality of his apple.
- After that PPVFR office appoints the nodal officers of IISR Kozhikode and they visit the farm and they collect samples (Leaf, buds, fruits, etc) and compare this with their genetic resources.
- Observe this for three years. In between, they visit every year to observe the changes in farmer’s fields.
- After completion of three years, they report to PPVFR and certify this variety and give the certificate to the farmer.
- He is a True breeder. Mr. Hegde got this certificate three years back.
Special Characters of Sigandhini:
- Sigandhini is derived from natural crossing. Its general leaf structure is like Panniyur 1.
- But its bud is light pinkish. The leaf tip is a slightly pinned shape.
- The spikes are like Panniyur 1 variety.
- Generally, it depicts Panniyur 1 but when we observe it thoroughly there are some variations.
- It will yield regularly. Spike is full of fruits. The weight of pepper is higher than Panniyur 1 variety.
- Flowering is early than Panniyur 1.
- Maturity is from January to February Month.
- Because of the early harvest, vines are not affected by stress in summer (May). Rest to the vine is very important in pepper.
- If there was no rest disease incidence is more.
- So in all seasons, the leaf color is greenish.
- It will not require additional fungicides like Metalaxyl, COC, etc.
- Only two sprays of Bourdeaux mixture are enough. It is stress-resistant also.
- In pepper, most of the varieties yield irregularly.
- If yield is more disease incidence is high.
- But Sigandhini is a regular and stable yielder.
- It is highly suitable for White and black pepper.
- The letter weight is above 600 grams.
In breading activity nature’s role is immense. Almost all local varieties are breaded by nature. If crossing between two, chances of a new variety are expected. This Sigandhini may be germinated seed of two crossed varieties. Farmers can observe this on their farms also. Almost all varieties are derived by natural crossing. So that does not neglect seed propagation.