Dr. Girish Panicker delivers speech at 19th Organic World Congress in India

Dr. Girish Kumar Panicker, director of the Center for Conservation Research (an entity of the Alcorn State University School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences) recently delivered an invited lecture at the 19th Organic World Congress (OWC), held Nov. 9 through Nov. 11 in New Delhi, India. Dr. Panicker presented on the topic “Organic Farming System with Animal and Forest Waste to Increase Vitamin C and Anthocyanin Content in Rabbiteye Blueberries.”

An authority in organic research on horticultural crops and an internationally renowned agricultural scientist, Panicker has succeeded in increasing the vitamin C, total anthocyanins, and flavonoids content of rabbiteye blueberries. In layman’s terms, by applying advanced organic techniques with animal and forest wastes, Panicker has succeeded in improving the nutritious content of this specific blueberry variety.

According to Panicker, “My organic blueberries produced under worm castings on a heavy soil have 83 percent higher vitamin C content compared to blueberries available in the open market. A paper on this topic, co-authored by Dr. Ananda Nanjundaswamy, assistant professor, Alcorn State University, Dr. Juan Silva, professor and food technologist, Mississippi State University (MSU), and Dr. Frank Matta, professor and pomologist, MSU has been published in the proceedings of the World Congress. Another version of this research has been accepted for publication into the Journal of Organic Agriculture, published by the OWC headquarters in Germany.”

The Organic World Congress, hosted by IFOAM - Organics International, is held every three years in a different country. The aim of the Congress is to share experiences, innovations and knowledge about the organic world, and to promote the global visibility of important work in the field.

Panicker, whose doctorate work (conducted at Mississippi State University) focused on blueberries, touts the importance of eating the healthy fruit.

“Blueberries help to prevent coronary heart diseases, lung cancer, stroke, and urinary tract infections in women. They are the second highest container of antioxidants, next to Blackberries, in the U.S.,” he said.

Panicker’s blueberry work is one of many renowned outcomes of the Alcorn State University Center for Conservation Research Center. The Center is home to the world’s largest C-factor (cover and management) data bank on horticultural crops, with work done on 40 crops at an investment of more than $6 million. The information generated addresses erosion prediction, nutrient management, and conservation planning as well as prevention of soil erosion and climate change.

For more information on the Organic World Congress, visit https://owc.ifoam.bio/2017. For more information on the Center for Conservation Research and its renowned work, contact Panicker at 601.877.6598, 601.877.3372, or at panicker@alcorn.edu.