Regional Coffee Research Stations – Thandigudi (near Kodaikanal) has been identified to take up studies on ‘coffee leaf rust’.

“For conducting research on ‘coffee leaf rust’, laboratory and glass house facilities have been created at the centre. Also all the 35 rust differentials including ‘A’ type plants have been brought from Portugal to conduct the studies,” Jawaid Akhtar, Chairman, Coffee Board, told Business Line.

“The centre has made progress on the rust resistance/susceptibility to various plant selections – both existing and on new ones,” he added.

To facilitate research and extension activities, the research station has also created a gene bank which includes exotic varieties for future exploitation.

The station is celebrating its Silver Jubilee year of establishment by holding a ‘Field Day’ on December 8 at the research station. The Board set up RCRS at Thandigudi (near Kodaikanal), Lower Pulney Hills, Dindigul district in 1987 to address the region specific problems in coffee growing.

Dr K. Sreedharan, Deputy Director (Research) at Thandigudi said the priority areas of research at RCRS - Thandigudi during the Silver Jubilee year includes development of high yielding, pest and disease-tolerant Arabica varieties, improvement to soil fertility through integrated nutrient management programme.

The centre is also working on development of eco-friendly remedial measures against pests and diseases and studies on mechanisation of farm operations and new planting designs to suit mechanisation of cultural operations in coffee farms.

Explaining the activities carried out during the past 25 years, Sreedharan said RCRS-Thandigudi has identified a few high yielding varieties such as Selection 5B, Selection 9 and Chandragiri suited to this region.

(This article was published on December 7, 2012)
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