1. Agriculture World

Kerala Agricultural University Will Support Coconut Cultivation in the State

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

To give a boost to coconut farming in the State, Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) will set up a Centre for Advanced Agricultural Science & Technology for developing knowledge and skill in coconut-based secondary agriculture.

In this regard, the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) has approved a Rs. 24.73-crore project under the Centres for Advanced Agricultural Science & Technology (CAAST) component of the National Agricultural Higher Education Programme.

Of the total amount of Rs. 24.73 crore, Rs.19.732 crore will be borne by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research. And Rs. 5 crore will be the share of Kerala, told KAU Vice Chancellor Mr. R. Chandra Babu on 24th July 2019.

All the activities of the proposed centre will be coordinated by the Coconut Research Station, Balaramapuram; Kelappaji College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Tavanur; College of Horticulture, Vellanikkara and Regional Agricultural Research Station, Pilicode.

The Vice Chancellor said that the university has selected coconut as the focus of the project considering the State government's thrust on coconut farming. He underlined the need to support the crop by all possible means & to ensure revival of coconut farming and support to growers with scientific protocols for value addition & processing.

coconut tree

Dr. Chandra Babu in a statement told,  “The KAU, which developed the first coconut hybrid in the world, has strength in the emerging areas of industrial processing & value addition in coconut, namely Neera production, extraction of virgin coconut oil & its byproducts and making quality furniture from coconut wood”.

He added that coir pith, also known as coir peat & coir dust, a byproduct of the coconut fibre can be changed into organic manure for vegetable farming, especially in urban & peri-urban regions, according to the university. The KAU has also set up pilot plants to give systematic training & guidance.

The multidisciplinary project team is led by Kerala Agricultural University Director of Research, Mr. P. Indiradevi as the nodal officer and R. Sujatha, Associate Director (Coconut Mission), is the Principal Investigator.

The Centres for Advanced Agricultural Science & Technology project on coconut-based secondary agriculture will be operational for a period of 3 years from the current fiscal.

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