Hiroshima University to fund research on Sikkim large cardamom

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Sikkim Mail

Gangtok: October 18, 2011

Dr. Binu Sundas was invited by the Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, Japan to attend the Short Term Research Fellow Course 2011 of the Global Environment Leaders Education Program from the 30th of July to 30th September, 2011. This program was initiated by Hiroshima University to effectively tackle the issues of climate change and to bring about a low carbon society. The objective of this program was to face the challenge posed by these issues together by understanding the specific needs and problems of the areas by cooperation and also by forming networks among the researchers and the countries from where the researchers came for future cooperation.

Dr. Sundas selected the problem of decreasing production of large cardamom in Sikkim as his area of research. During the Winter Sojourn program, initiated by the Vice Chancellor of Sikkim University, the team had found that the production of large cardamom in Sikkim was steadily and consistently decreasing. It also came to light that apart from the diseases affecting the plant it was also the non availability of water which was responsible for the decreasing production of large cardamom. These factors lead Dr. Sundas to test the relationship between large cardamom production and the changing climatic variables.

During the course of the program he studied the production of cardamom in Sikkim and analyzed the changes in the climatic variables and tried to analyze their relationship using Nichols model.

It was found that there is a relationship between the two. The temperature in Sikkim is rising and that the rainfall is decreasing progressively. This led him to develop a proposal on studying the effect of climate change on the production of cardamom. The research will analyze the specific effect of these changing climatic variables and at specific cycle of the plant, which will be funded by Hiroshima University and the research will be conducted under the leadership of Sikkim University.

The proposal was presented during a symposium organized by the Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation on 9th September 2011. The proposal has been accepted as of now and during the month of November Professor Maharjan will visit Sikkim for some few days and work on funding the research on cardamom and also initiate the collaboration between Hiroshima University and Sikkim University.

Dr. Sundas also had to write abstracts on low carbon society. One paper deals with the issue of how organic farming in Sikkim is helping in reducing the carbon content in the environment but at the same time the vehicular emission is neutralizing the gains of organic farming. This abstract has been accepted for the especial issue of the IDEC journal. The second paper deals with organic farming and its impact on the socio-economic conditions of the farmers in Sikkim. As part of the academic program he was also sent to visit Kyoto University. There were altogether 10 participants in this program from India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand and Australia.



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