Community Outreach

Through our continued efforts it has been possible to instill among the villagers a sense of protection for trees and forest wealth. Nearby forests are now a protected land and no longer do people enter these forests with the purpose of indiscriminate felling of trees or extraction of forest produce. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham also closely associates with the state forest department concerning tree planting and forest protection activities.

Tree seedlings and medicinal plants are supplied to farmers on a non-profit basis. In June 2005 we conducted a National Environmental Campaign supported by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India, on "Solid Waste Management".

A one-day workshop on bio-waste management and composting was conducted for the benefit of farmers, village communities, extension officials, NGOs and students. A rally was organized in Ettimadai Village on the subject of hygiene and cleanliness. Training programs on medicinal plant cultivation were conducted. 

We periodically assist Amrita Prakirthi Samrakshana Samiti, the Nature Club of the University, with tree planting, trekking and other related activities as a means to create student awareness of the environment and the need for its protection. Excursions to forest areas help students experience and gain understanding about the wealth of flora, fauna and biodiversity of the region. Students and staff also go to the villages and participate in awareness programs which promote the need for environmental protection.

Organic Farming

Besides the Ettimadai Campus which consists of around 500 acres, the University has a 40 acre farm in Walayar bordering Kerala state. Both Ettimadai Campus and Walayar Farm are “zero-chemical” zones where no inorganic fertilizers or pesticides are applied to crops and other types of plants. In addition, bio-control methods for implementing insect pest and disease management have been adopted... »»

The main crops of the Ettimadai Cmpus are coconut and medicinal trees as well as plants and fruits like mango and chickoo. At the Walayar Farm, the main crops grown are banana, tomato, chilly, drumstick, leafy vegetables, beetroot, brinjal, ladies finger, coconut and other trees.

Insect, Pest and Disease Management

The following bio control methods are adopted to control pest

The pheromone solution is placed in vials suspended inside a bucket trap. The bucket’s lid is kept slightly raised on one side for weevil entry. The bucket contains a mixture of mashed banana fruit mixed with water. The trapped weevils are removed daily and disposed of. An 800 mg pheromone solution is required every three months to meet the needs of a three acre plantation area.

  1. Mites: Affected trees are sprayed with 2 liters of a solution containing garlic paste, mixed in neem oil and soap solution. This is prepared by mixing 2 liters of neem oil, 2 kg of garlic paste and 100 g of soap powder in 100 liters of water. The solution is then diluted and applied by spraying every three months.
  2. Red Palm Weevil Control: Pheromone, a synthetic chemical, is used for collecting Red Palm Weevils. This compound sends a smelling signal which attracts the weevils, trapping them in a container.

    The pheromone solution is placed in vials suspended inside a bucket trap. The bucket’s lid is kept slightly raised on one side for weevil entry. The bucket contains a mixture of mashed banana fruit mixed with water. The trapped weevils are removed daily and disposed of. An 800 mg pheromone solution is required every three months to meet the needs of a three acre plantation area.

  3. Rhinoceros Beetle: Adopted biological control has been found to be very effective. Rhinoceros Beetle larva is inoculated with Baculovirus (baculovirus oryctes) which infects the epithelium of the larva. The virus-infected larval extract is mixed with the leaf coated with proliferated virus and fed to beetles in the larval stage. The adult beetles are infected and their longevity is reduced. Diseased beetles cross infect during group breeding, thus transmitting viral infestation to the new generation.