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Technological Developments On Coconut Crop Improvement, Coconut Agronomy/Nutrition, And Coconut Based Farming System In India

Coconut production and productivity in India has increased during the last one decade as a result of developmental initiatives and implementation of technologies generated from research institutes within the country. The Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) under Indian Council of Agricultural Research addresses the problems related to crop improvement, production technology including management of pests and diseases and also post harvest handling. This is supported by the research programmes under the All India Coordinated Research Project on Palms (AICRPP) implemented in 16 Centres and State Agricultural Universities (SAUs). Research efforts at CPCRI, AICRPP and SAUs have resulted in the development of 32 improved varieties including 15 hybrid varieties for cultivation in different agro-climatic regions within the country, including three coconut root (wilt) resistant/tolerant varieties to combat production loss resulting from this phytoplasmal disease. CPCRI has developed coconut embryo culture and coconut cryopreservation technologies to aid germplasm collection and conservation efforts. The institute has also standardized coconut plumule culture technology to develop pure lines of parental material for planting material production. The production technologies developed by CPCRI for coconut and coconut based cropping/farming systems, including integrated nutrient and water management strategies and drip fertigation technologies have enabled to achieve higher productivity and resource use efficiency. India has been in the forefront in developing organic farming practices and has standardized technologies for recycling of coconut wastes through vermicomposting and also identified biofertilizers/green manure crops for effective substitution of inorganic fertilizers. Coconut based inter/mixed, multi storied and multi-species cropping systems developed at CPCRI are being widely adopted by the farmers. The institute has developed technologies for intercropping and profitable management of coconut gardens in coastal sandy soil by adopting adequate soil moisture conservation methods. The bio-engineering measures standardized by CPCRI for sloppy terrains, enabled to sustain crop production in high rainfall areas of west coast region by conserving soil resources in an effective manner. In addition, the institute and AICRPP centres have developed integrated management strategies and biointensive measures to combat the major pests and diseases of coconut. The technologies developed are disseminated to the farmers through transfer of technology programmes involving different stakeholders and developmental agencies.

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