State level launching of the Project on Demonstration plots on Cocoa 21.8.15 in Andhra Pradesh


              State level launching of the Project on ‘Farmers Participatory Research –cum- Demonstration plots on Cocoa for Enhancing Productivity and Profitability’ implemented by ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute with financial support from Directorate of Cashew nut and Cocoa Development was held on 21.8.15 at ICAR-Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research, Pedavegi. The programme was inaugurated by Dr. N. K. Krishnakumar, DDG (Hort. Sci.). ICAR, New Delhi. Dr. P Chowdappa, Director, ICAR-CPCRI presided over the inaugural function. Dr. B.M.CReddy,Vice Chancellor, Dr.Y.S.R Horticultural University delivered the keynote address. Dr. P. Kalidas,Acting Director, ICAR-Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research, Pedavegi Smt. G. Andal, Assistant Director of Horticulture, Office of Commissioner of Horticulture, Hyderabad, Andhara Pradesh, Mr. G. V. S. Prasad, Progressive farmer, West Godavari and Mr. G. Shivakumar, Manager, Mondelez India Foods Pvt. Ltd., Andhara Pradesh offered felicitations.

In the inaugural address, Dr. N. K. Krishnakumar informed that research on cocoa cultivation, cocoa processing will be strengthened further with emphasis on evolving improved technologies for organic cocoa production.  Further he added that the project to demonstrate technologies on improved varieties of cocoa, pruning techniques, integrated nutrient management, organic farming techniques,  Integrated pest and disease management and post harvest processing of cocoa will be highly beneficial  for the cocoa growers of Andhara Pradesh for enhancing productivity and income from cocoa cultivation.

 Dr. Chowdappa in his presidential address elaborated on the background of initiating the Project on Demonstration plots on Cocoa in Andhra Pradesh.The projected demand of cocoa in India by 2050 is 212 thousand tonnes against the estimated supply of 121 thousand tonnes. With the projected supply, there would be a demand supply gap of 90 thousand tonnes of cocoa beans in 2050. To achieve this target, the cocoa production in the country should increase at an annual growth rate of 7.68 per cent considering the market growth at 20% and the cocoa sector has a great potential to develop in future years. Andhra Pradesh is a major producer of cocoa in the country with an annual production of 5600 tonnes (37 %) from an area of 22110 ha (31 %). There is great potential for enhancing production of cocoa in Andhra Pradesh by increasing area under cultivation especially as a mixed crop in coconut and oil palm plantations. Area under coconut in Andhra Pradesh is 121.92 lakh ha and area under oil palm is 1.68 Lakh ha.

Dr. Chowdappa concluded that for establishing cocoa as a mixed crop in coconut and oil palm plantations on scientific lines and also for enhancing productivity in the existing cocoa gardens through adoption of improved technologies farmers needs research and extension support and also coordinated efforts of different stakeholders. 

As part of the programme, an interface session on cocoa farming involving farmers, scientists, officials of Dept. of Horticulture and officials of Mondelez India foods pvt. ltd, Andhara Pradesh was conducted.

Field visit was conducted to the farmer’s garden in which techniques of cocoa training and pruning was demonstrated as part of the project.

About 350 cocoa growers covering five districts in Andhra Pradesh viz.,West Godavari, East Godavari, Krishna, Vishakapatinam and Vizianagaram participated in the programme.

Dr. C. Thamban, Principal Scientist, CPCRI, Kasaragod welcomed the guests and gathering.  Dr. S. Sujatha, Principal Scientist, CPCRI, RS, Vittal proposed vote of thanks. Dr. D. Jaganathan, Scientist, CPCRI, Kasaragod and Principal Investigator of the project coordinated the programme.