Research Centre for Makhana

ICAR RCER Research Centre for Makhana, Darbhanga

The ICAR Research Complex for Eastern Region (ICAR-RCER), Patna was established in the early 2000s, with the objective and mandate for addressing a range of issues relating to agricultural production in the Eastern states of India. The research centre came into being on 22nd February, 2001 with its headquarter at Patna, in the state of Bihar and  having its regional stations at Darbhanga, Bihar and Ranchi, Jharkhand. 

There are two Krishi Vigyan Kendras or KVKs that are situated at Buxar, Bihar and Ramgarh, Jharkhand that are also under the Complex. Since its establishment, the specialized research institution has undertaken a range of research work in the areas including land and water resources management, crop management, horticulture, aquatic crops, fishery, livestock and poultry, agro-processing and socio-economic aspects for agricultural development in the region so as to improve the livelihood of resource and also the socio-economic condition of the poor farmers. The institute has played a significant role in the eastern states for making advancements in the agricultural research and help in the production of makhana through directly and indirectly touching the lives of thousands of farmers. 

Objectives of the Research Centre

This coveted Research Centre in Darbhanga was started with following objectives:

 Generating appropriate agricultural technologies that are helpful in raising the socio-economic status of poor Makhana growers (including the downtrodden fisherman community) by ensuring higher yield, better employment schemes and opportunities, value adding to the commodity, improving socio- economic condition & efficient marketing strategies and structure.

 Conducting mission mode basic & applied research for overall development of the wetland areas. This is enables by adopting a total systemic approach through enhancing productivity of water. Emphasis is also laid on minimizing the drudgery of down- trodden farming community, especially the woman folk that are engaged in the process of makhana popping.

 Conducting a basic, well planned and applied research for increasing the production of makhana, improving the productivity and standardizing the processing technology.

 Serving as a central repository of data and information for collecting the agro-diversity and other agricultural information on Makhana.

 Disseminating the improvement and advancement of technology of Makhana to all stakeholders.

 Collaborating with other national and international agencies/ research instituted for achieving the mandate.

Nature of Agricultural Projects

The ICAR RCER Research Centre for Makhana, Darbhanga has also undertaken a couple of projects to study the entire process of makhana right form sowing to cultivation to harvesting etc. The idea has been to look at better methods to improve the makhana agricultural cycle, look at improving the yield per hectare, find out other methods to improve the technology. Provide learning and training to farmers for growing makhana in two different system including pond system of makhana cultivation and field system of makhana cultivation.

A host of projects are also supported by government grants and private organizations and individuals. Some of the projects and research being undertaken have worked on understanding and improving the following aspects:

 For improving the productivity potential of makhana crops in different systems of cultivation

 Understanding the nutrient requirement and management in order to increase the production potential of the crop. 

 Studying and understanding the effect of integration of makhana or fox nut with the fish culture including sole system. Understanding the nutritional quality under wetland ecosystem. 

 Capturing and working on seed yield as well as  the nutritional value of makhana or lotus seeds (starch, sugar, protein and minerals)  and the variation of the nutritional content of the seeds in different integrated nutrient management (INM) packages applied on the crop and fishes. 

Krishi Vigyan Kendra, ICAR-RCER, Buxar

Started in 2008, the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), ICAR-RCER, Buxar, is attached to ICAR RCER Research Centre for Makhana, Darbhanga and became fully functional in November 2008. The mandate of the institute was to assess various agricultural technologies, refining them and demonstrating different technology products. The Krishi Vigyan Kendra or KVK is engaged in the following activities:

 Conducting tests with the On-farm methodology for identifying the location specificity of agricultural technologies under various farming systems.

 Organizing Frontline Demonstrations for establishing the production potential of various technologies on the farmers and in different fields.

 Training the farmers across the region for remaining up to date on the various skill in modern agricultural methods. The idea is to also let farmers know of the advancement in the field of makhana agriculture. 

 Training other extended personnel for orienting them in the different areas of technology development and implementation.

 Working as an agricultural knowledge center and centralized resource to support all initiatives of public, private and voluntary sector for improving the agriculture economy of the district.

Krishi Vigyan Kendra, ICAR-RCER, Jharkhand

Started in 2014, the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), ICAR-RCER, Ramgarh, is attached to ICAR RCER Research Centre for Makhana, Darbhanga and became fully functional in July 2014. The mandate of the institute was also to assess various agricultural technologies, refining them and demonstrating different technology products

The working of this KVR is also on the same lines s the Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Buxar. This institute also works as a resource and knowledge center for all agricultural related activities , development and technological advancement.