Crop Improvement


Head : Dr. Anitha Karun


  • Genetics and Plant Breeding
  • Biotechnology


The major thrust of the division is to manage the genetic resources in coconut, arecanut and cocoa for breeding high yielding varieties/hybrids with resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses through conventional and biotechnological approaches, development of in vitro mass multiplication protocols and large scale production of planting material including nucleus and breeder seed for establishment of seed gardens.

Major Research Activities:

  • Prospection, conservation and utilization of genetic resources targeting desirable novel traits
  • Enriching the gene pool of mandate crops with gene resources for specific traits.
  • Complementary conservation strategy via cryopreservation.
  • Multiplication of germplasm, pre breeding and conservation.
  • Germplasm characterization including molecular characterization, developing repository of donor parents and registration of trait specific lines.
  • Evolving new varieties and hybrids for higher productivity, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, quality and diversified products.
  • Identification and utilization of superior accessions using molecular markers for plant habit, hybridity, biotic/abiotic stress tolerance.
  • Evaluation of promising lines and development of varieties.
  • Establishment of mother blocks of promising varieties.
  • Production of quality planting material in mandate crops.
  • Application of bioinformatics tools for accelerating research on genomics, diagnostics and microbial resources.
  • Bioinformatics tools for coconut whole genome sequencing.
  • Transcriptomic and proteomic studies.
  • Development of computational tools for crop improvement.

Coconut Artificial Pollination Management System Database

Crop Production


Head of the Division: Dr.Ravi Bhat


  • Agronomy
  • Soil Science
  • Microbiology

The major thrust of the Division is to sustain the production of coconut, arecanut and cocoa through the development of improved production technologies such as cropping /farming system/ organic farming and precision farming in accordance with the climate change and soil biotic and abiotic environment. This include cultivation of compatible crops in the inter spaces and integration with other enterprises like dairy, goat, poultry etc.  to offer considerable scope for  increased production and productivity per unit area, time and inputs by more efficient utilization of resources like sunlight, soil, water and  labour.

Major Research Activities:

  • Developing eco-friendly, cost effective production systems for higher resource use efficiency and increased productivity.
  • Precision farming- Developing site specific Management practices
  • Developing tailor made nutrient packages for specific cultivation scenarios of palms and cocoa
  • Developing low cost water harvesting structures to augment the surface and ground water resources along with proper management for judicial utilization of the harvested water in conjunction with ground water.
  • Developing cropping Farming system models with high carbon sequestration through waste biomass recycling and utilizing beneficial microbial resources.
  • Developing self sustainable cropping/farming system models.
  • Developing microbial products for enhanced nutrient use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress tolerance.
  • Developing low input/conservation agricultural practices.

Physiology Biochemistry and Post Harvest Technology

Head of the Division: Dr. K.B.Hebbar


  • Plant Physiology & Biochemistry
  • Pre and Post Harvest Technology

The major thrust of the division is to understand the physiological and biochemical basis of coconut, arecanut and cocoa to growth and yield under normal and abiotic stress (drought, flooding and high temperature) conditions, to phenotype the crops for various abiotic stresses, impact assessment and adaptation studies to climate change, biochemical and qualitative studies during fruit development and shelf life of the produce, process optimisation and commercialisation of value added products and mechanisation of farm operation.

Major Research Activities :

  • Understanding the physiological and biochemical basis of growth and development under different agro climatic conditions with reference to present and future climates-
  • Impact assessment- Development and validation of simulation models
  • Model simulation for the prediction of coconut production for the present and future climates
  • Adaptation strategies: Identification of phenotypic and genotypic traits tolerant to drought, high temperature, flooding etc.
  • Development of management strategies to mitigate the effect of climate change on plantation crops
  • Value addition, product diversification and up scaling technology for commercial dimensions.
  • Development of new value added products
  • Pharmacological studies in arecanut and studies on flavour components and quality of cocoa
  • Physiological and biochemical studies to improve the shelf life of products from mandate crops
  • Developing labour saving and drudgery reducing farm machineries.
  • Development of tools and machineries for processing and drudgery reduction
  • Refinement of machineries for processing
  • Commercialization of processing equipments

Crop Protection

Head of the Division : Dr. Vinayaka Hegde


  • Plant Pathology
  • Entomology
  • Nematology

Crop Protection division mainly focus on occurrence and distribution of pests and diseases and surveillance of emerging pests and diseases, diagnosis of pests and diseases, etiology, pathogen diversity, epidemiology, pest and disease forecasting and IPM and IDM with special emphasis on biological control.

Major Research Activities:

  • Integrated biocontrol of major pests of coconut like eriophyrid mite, red palm weevil, leaf eating caterpillar, white grub and rhinoceros beetle.
  • Collection and cataloging of natural enemies of the pests.
  • Field evaluation of EPN against coconut white grub.
  • Refinement of IPM for major pests of coconut.
  • Surveillance and monitoring of possible invasive and emerging pests of palms and cocoa.
  • Exploring the potential of pheromone and kairomone blend for red palm weevil management and nanotechnological approach for pheromone delivery.
  • Integrated management of arecanut white grub.
  • Integrated approaches for the management of tea mosquito bug in cocoa.
  • Development of diagnostics for coconut root (wilt) disease (RWD) and arecanut yellow leaf disease (YLD) using molecular techniques.
  • Studies on induced systemic resistance against RWD and YLD.
  • Diversity analysis of Phytophthora sp. causing disease of coconut and cocoa.
  • Epidemiology of Phytophthora disease of coconut an d cocoa.
  • Integrated biocontrol of major diseases.
  • Developing IDM Modules for Phytophthora diseases.
  • Demonstration of new IPM and IDM technologies developed by CPCRI in farmers gardens.


Social Science

Head of the Division: Dr. K Muralidharan


  • Agricultural extension
  • Agricultural economics
  • Agricultural statistics

Social Sciences Division formulate and undertake research projects pertaining to various aspects of technology generation,transfer,utilization and  impact in mandate crops; policy interventions in agriculture, and refinement of statistical methods in  plantation crops research.

Major Research Activities

  • Up-scaling technology transfer through ICT tools, participatory/community based approaches and refinement of technology delivery mechanisms.
  • Validation and refinement of technology delivery mechanisms.
  • Cyber extension programmes.
  • Policy research and Impact assessment.
  • Statistical investigations for improving research methodology in plantation crops.

ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute
Kasaragod,Kerala, 671124

Last Updated on : 30/July/2019

Phone : 04994-232894
Fax : 04994-232322
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Time: 2019-11-16 00:25:10


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