The Centre for Research on Aquatic Resources (CRAR) at S. D. College, Alleppey has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangalore based Asoka Trust for Ecology & Environment – Community Environmental Resource Centre (ATREE-CERC) for transfer of technologies for value addition of aquatic weeds like water hyacinth developed by Dr. G. Nagendra Prabhu, Principal Investigator of CRAR. Under the MoU, training will be provided to selected women entrepreneurs from Muhamma Grama Panchayath on technologies such as Mushroom cultivation using water hyacinth as bedding material, preparation of biomass briquettes using dried water hyacinth and water hyacinth pulp based products. ATREE-CERC is currently running a CSR project funded by Antrix Corporation in Muhamma. The MoU was signed by Mr. Jojo T. D, Project Coordinator, Mr Sanju Soman, Senior Programme Officer and Mr. Sreekuttan V. N on behalf of ATREE-CERC and Dr. G. Nagendra Prabhu, Dr. P. R. Unnikrishna Pillai, Principal and Dr. C. Krishna Kumar, Coordinator, IQAC, for S. D. College. The MoU will be valid for a period of one year. ATREE will help set up small scale units for making value added products from aquatic weeds for the women entrepreneurs from Muhamma. A similar MoU was signed by SDC-CRAR with Kenya last month.
Dr. Prabhu has been working on value addition of aquatic weeds for more than 20 years and has received many awards and fellowships for his innovative research, including the Young Scientist Award of Dept. of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, FLAIR Research Excellence Award of the Department of Higher Education, Govt. of Kerala, Rural Innovator Award of Kerala State Council for Science, Technology & Environment, International Fellowship of German Research Centre for Biotechnology, Visiting Fellowship of the Indian Academy of Science, Bangalore. Prof. Sivaprasad Foundation Award for the Best College Teacher in Kerala, etc. He is currently the Chairman, Board of Studies in Biotechnology, University of Kerala and is a recognized research guide. He has successfully completed 5 R & D projects and 2 extension projects of various national and state funding agencies. After obtaining Ph. D in Biotechnology from CUSAT, he has carried out post doctoral research in USA and Germany and worked as Coordinator of the Department of Biotechnology in Asian Institute of Medicine, Science & Technology, Malaysia during 2003-07. Recently, a startup called Ecoloop360 has been launched in the Technology Business Incubator, Govt. College of Engineering, Barton Hill, Trivandrum under his mentorship. He has also established a Community Training Centre in S. D. College for providing training on value addition of aquatic weeds since 2017. For details, pleases contact 9495017901 / 9846009339.