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C.V. Prakash

C.V. Prakash

Chief Visionary and Founder, CV Hydro Australia

Lab to Land - Proven Soilless Technique increases Turmeric Yields 10x

An experiment was conducted to evaluate a variety of turmeric. Popularly grown in Tamil Nadu state of India, the Salem Variety was tested for yield, curcumin enhancement, presence of heavy metals, microbiological contamination and quantity of clean saleable material at time of harvest using the soilless cultivation method - media culture, cocopeat.

The turmeric finger rhizomes were trialled in HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) Grow Bags, black within and without. The research was conducted in three conditions from day one with same batch of seed finger rhizomes of Var. Salem. Agronomy practices as followed in soilless cultivation methods were followed as per Industry best practices. Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) a part of the Zingiberaceae family is a favourite spice in India and has been grown in India for more than 5000 years.
The compelling reason for taking up this experiment was that while India is the largest producer of turmeric in the world, the amount that is exported is barely 10-15 percent of its overall production because a) domestic demand is very high, and b)  Indian Turmeric fails to match up with stringent international quality standards with many consignments being rejected by the importers. Therefore, the idea was to use the soilless cultivation (media culture) technique to see how one can grow world-class turmeric to match international standards and thereby increase money earned by exports.

One of the important things considered at a base level was that turmeric is a shade lover, and loves hot and humid conditions. Notwithstanding these challenges, the results achieved were simply more than initially imagined. Var. Salem turmeric was trialled in Bangalore, South India, with a semi-hot and dry climate challenging the ideal growth conditions for turmeric. Despite the unconventional environment, the experiments revealed that a white shade net house provided the best conditions for turmeric cultivation. Opting for Integrated Pest & Disease Management, the crop reached its genetic potential using safe natural methods, resulting in a curcumin content of 5.91%/wt—exceeding the typical range for var. Salem. Remarkably, heavy metal and microbiological testing showed near-zero traces. The harvested turmeric exhibited robust roots, devoid of pests or fungal attacks, with 100 percent being saleable material. The success, achieved without foggers to increase humidity, has led to proven Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) applicable in commercial farms in India.

  1. Soilless cultivation of Turmeric improves yields 8-10 times that of soil grown.
  2. Higher Curcumin content, near-zero microbiological contamination and zero presence of Heavy metals. Almost 100 pc of harvest is saleable and increases farmers’ profits.
  3. Proven in several regions not known for Turmeric Cultivation in India and would work well in most tropical and semi-tropical regions of the world. Warmer parts of Australia can benefit from this technique and can also be used for Ginger cultivation.

About CV:

Known as CeeVee within professional circles, he emerged from a family deeply rooted in the military, beginning his academic journey at Sainik School Bijapur in Karnataka State. An alumnus of India's prestigious National Defence Academy, CeeVee served as an Officer in the esteemed submarine arm of the Indian Navy before embarking on a new chapter in Australia in 2001.

In Australia, he immersed himself in Hydroponics, evolving into a passionate advocate and pioneer of the discipline in India. CeeVee wears multiple hats, seamlessly transitioning between roles as a hands-on grower, consultant, greenhouse auditor, researcher, and hydroponics trainer. His overarching mission is to democratise cutting-edge technology, making clean and sustainable food accessible globally. Recognised as a captivating speaker at national and international conventions, he introduces innovative concepts like food parks and Agricultural Excellence Centres.

Credited with establishing India's inaugural Commercial Hydroponics Greenhouse in Bangalore, CeeVee's groundbreaking research extends to path-breaking work in enhancing turmeric yields, successfully bridging the gap between lab innovation and practical application. Nearly 23 years devoted to soilless cultivation have earned him international and national acclaim, marking an extraordinary metamporphosis from submariner to esteemed agriculturist.

At the core of his philosophy is the assertion that 'Know How' must be complemented by 'Do How' and 'Show How.' Emphasising the significance of the 'Right Tech' over 'High Tech,' CeeVee envisions extraordinary value for global farmers through the harmonisation of traditional wisdom and technological advancements. He has two lovely daughters both Australian citizens and are alumni of the Melbourne University.

CeeVee staunchly believes that "Food, Good Food is a Human Birthright," and ‘every human must have it’. He extends an open invitation for contact at +61-473935610 or cv@cvhydro.com.au.

 

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