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City prof bags State award for research

LITTLE did 41-year-old K Sasikumar, an assistant professor of Periyar EVR College, know he would receive the best research-er award in the State this year from Human Care Human Rights Protection (HCHRP). His PhD thesis asserting seaweed is best suited as manure in farming with its cost-efficiency and as an aid in increasing soil fertility earned him the award. After his graduation in Botany, he showed an interest in practical learning and reading books. His research on seaweed as manure commenced in 2001 when he studied for an MPhil in Marine Biology. The methodology behind his research was to find an alternative to chemical fertilisers, a threat to agriculture, he recalled. Most farmers are unaware of bio-fertilisers, as they are keen on using chemical urea for cultivation, leading to a reduction in soil fertility and texture, said Sasikumar. Since the beginning of his research process, he has referred many agriculturalists to promote his way of thinking. Referring to the farmers' friend, 'the earthworm', Sasikumar said Chemical fertilisers could destroy the insects. "Earth-worms can help farmers in-crease productivity but people are unaware of this and chemical fertilisers kill them all,"

 He wanted to find an alternative to chemical fertilisers The collected seaweed would be dried in a closed area and ground Into powder afterwards The powder Is then dissolved In water or sprinkled on fields  said. Before completing his doctorate in Botany in 2005, he came up with the result of his research which matched his hypothesis. Sasikumar transferred part of his research to students whom he guided. Explaining his research, the assistant professor said the collected seaweed would be dried in a closed area and ground into powder afterwards. The powder is then dissolved in water or sprinkled on fields. "At a cost of just Rs 500, farmers can gain immense benefits as proved by re-search," he said. HCHRP identifies excellence in every field and presents winners an award as a way of thanks for tireless efforts and encouragement Sasikumar is one of nine winners announced. He had applied to be considered for the award and was interviewed by HCHRP members. "With all the cross-checking of data, nine finalists were awarded in a ceremony," said A Joseph, human rights activist and social activist. Organic farming can be re-hived by Sasikumar's research.
Source www• readwhere. com/read/c/21516446 

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