Agri Business

Kerala’s Agricultural University to support coconut farming in the state

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on July 24, 2019 Published on July 24, 2019

File photo   -  File photo/The Hindu

The mega project will be operational for three years from the current fiscal

The coconut farming sector in Kerala is set to get much needed impetus, thanks to the Rs.24.732 crore project bagged by Kerala Agricultural University (KAU).

The mega project, sanctioned by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) under the Centres of Advanced Agricultural Science and Technology (CAAST) component of National Agricultural Higher Education Programme, will be operational for three years from the current fiscal.

KAU Vice-Chancellor R Chandra Babu said that the proposal for establishing a CAAST for knowledge and skill development on coconut based secondary agriculture has been approved by the ICAR. Out of the total outlay of Rs24.732 crore, he said Rs19.732 crore will be borne by ICAR and the balance of Rs5 crore will be the State's share.

“We have selected coconut as the focus of activity on the basis of the state government’s envisaged thrust on coconut farming. Coconut being responsible for the very name of this state, it is befitting that the crop is supported by all possible means and our endeavour is to lead the revival of coconut farming and support to farmers with scientific protocols for value addition and processing,” he said.

“The university, which developed the first coconut hybrid in the world, has strength in the emerging areas of industrial processing and value addition in coconut, namely production of Neera, extraction of Virgin Coconut Oil and developing several by products of it and making quality furniture from coconut wood,” he added.

In addition to these, coir pith a by-product of coconut fibre can be converted as an organic manure ideal for vegetable cultivation, especially in urban and peri-urban areas. Thus, a farmer can derive benefits, direct and indirect, from every part of a palm and KAU has set up pilot plants to impart systematic training and guidance, he added.

The multidisciplinary project team is headed by Director of Research, P Indiradevi, as nodal officer and R Sujatha, Associate Director (Coconut Mission) is the Principal Investigator. The CAAST project on coconut based secondary agriculture is expected to change the graph of coconut farming.

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Published on July 24, 2019
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