Vanilla is a very familiar horticulture crop in Karnataka. The crop has been widely grown in Uttara Kannada district. Thousands of farmers have been cultivating vanilla beans since 1970. Even in global market also, we were able to mark our foot prints since then. The cultivation of vanilla had generated number of employments indirectly through its associated activities in the rural areas.
Vanilla had emerged as an important crop in the coastal and manland districts and south Karnataka districts. In between, Kadamba has facilitated to get the subsidy from the NHB (GOI organisation) for more than 50000 farmers. The amount would be more than Rs. 750000000/-
Unfortunately, the entire crop has been destroyed within few years tragically, because of the decease caused by Fusarium batatatis, Phytophthora and Colletotrichum.
Lack of appropriate technology and decease management knowledge, the area of vanilla cultivation has been detoriated rapidly.
There was a long gap in between. Apart from all the experiments from our farmers, they couldn’t succeed in their effort. Ultimately, they left it.
In 2015, Kadamba took the challenge and started working on that. It has involved itself in primary research, with the association of CPCRI-A government of India research organisation, Horticulture research centre in Sirsi, and Gujarat Bio-Tech Company.
Based on our primary research, now we are confident to say that, “The vanilla can be rejuvenated in our soil again” But, we are very cautious about it. We need to create the confidence among the farmers again.
Somehow, Kadamba is very confident with our experiment and research. Kadamba has planned to assist the farmers in supplying quality planting material, plant protection and post harvest management, training on vanilla cultivation, micro irrigation, and will assist to establish the local processing units.
Moreover, Kadamba is planning to coordinate the continues collaboration with the foreign buyers with our farmers directly, and setting up a quality control labs and imparting organic farming techniques with the assistance of international associations.
Vanilla is flavouring derived from Orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla. Vanilla beans originated in Mexico, and in some Central American countries as Costa Rica and Honduras. However, today vanilla beans are cultivated in many areas of the world. In Karnataka, it is grown in an area of 1465 hectares with an average production of 54 tonnes. It is mainly grown in the districts of Chikkamagalur, Shivamogga, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Hassan, Mysuru, Belgavi and Dharwad.
The vanilla bean is not only used to make flavouring, but it is also used in making medicines. People take vanilla to treat intestinal gas and fever. In foods and beverages, it is added to reduce the amount of sugar needed for sweetening and to avoid tooth decay. Research on the cardiovascular impact of vanilla, particularly its active ingredient, vanillin, has shown that it can measurably reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Vanilla is rich in antioxidants, which help prevent the breakdown of cells and tissues around the body, and stimulate the body’s natural re-growth. The antioxidants present in this remedy’s extract, particularly the high concentration of vanillin, can prevent the negative effects of free radicals, such as cancer and chronic disease.
Vanilla is a widely used aroma and flavor compound for foods, beverages and cosmetics, as indicated by its popularity as an ice cream flavor. The four main commercial preparations of vanilla are whole pod, powder, extract and vanilla sugar. Good quality vanilla has a strong aromatic flavor, but food with small amounts of low quality or artificial vanilla-like flavorings are far more common, since true vanilla is much more expensive.