Social Science


  • Various technology transfer programs including training, front-line demonstrations, exhibitions, kisan melas, publication of extension literature etc., organised by the institute resulted in enhanced adoption of palms technologies in palms and cocoa.
  • Technology transfer programmes of the institute are strengthened by the use of Information and Communication Technologies, including Video Conferencing.
  • Statistical methods as applicable to plantation crops have been refined.
  • Agriculture Technology Information Centre (ATIC) at the institute functions as single window system for various technology guidance, diagnostic services and supply of planting materials and other technology inputs.
  • Large scale sample surveys are being conducted for production, forecasting and estimation of yield loss.
  • The trends in domestic and international prices of the mandate crops are being analysed.
  • Policy research on various aspects of palms and cocoa are being carried out.


Crop Improvement


Genetics and Plant Breeding


  • World's largest germplasm collection of coconut (comprising 401accessions 269 indigenous and 132 exotic) is being maintained in the Institute.  The exotic collections are from 28 countries of South Asia, South-East Asia, Africa, Caribbean Islands, Indian Ocean Islands and Pacific Ocean Islands.


  • Designated as National Active Germplasm Site for Plantation crops and host for National Gene Banks for coconut, arecanut and cocoa.


  • Host to International Coconut Gene Bank for South Asia under Coconut Genetic Resources Network of Bioversity


  • Released twelve improved varieties of coconut (Chandra Kalpa, Kera Chandra, Chowghat Orange Dwarf, Kalpa Pratibha, Kalpa Dhenu, Kalpa Mitra, Kalparaksha, Kalpasree, Kalpatharu, Kalpa Jyothi, Kalpa Surya and Kalpa Haritha) .

  • Released five high yielding hybrids of coconut - Chandra Sankara, Kera Sankara, Chandra Laksha,   Kalpa Samrudhi and  Kalpa Sankara.


  • Dwarf varieties viz., Chowghat Orange Dwarf, Kalpa Jyothi, Kalpa Surya were released exclusively for tender coconut


  • Kalpa Pratibha, Kalpa Haritha, Kalpa Samrudhi, Chgandra Sankara, Kalparaksha and Kalpasree were released as dual purpose varieties suitable for copra and tender nuts


  • Chandra Kalpa, Kalpa Mitra, Kalpa Dhenu, Kalpa Pratibha Kalpatharu and Kalpa Samrudhi  are relatively tolerant to drought.


  • Kalpa Haritha is comparatively free from Eriophyid mite infestation amidst heavely infested palms of other varieties


  • Dwarf varieties viz., Kalparaksha and Kalpasree  are recommended for root (wilt) affected areas with higher degree of root (wilt) disease resiatnce.


  • The hybrid Kalpa Sankara is released for  root (wilt) disease tracts for its tolerance to the disease


  • Kalpatharu is released for ball copra production


  • Coconut descriptors prepared for 74 accessions and important accessions registered.

  • In arecanut,164 germplasm collections of which 23 exotic and 141 indigenous are conserved at CPCRI,RS, Vittal


  • Released six high yielding varieties (Mangala, Sumangala, Sreemangala, Mohitnagar, Swarnamangala and Kahikuchi) and two hybrids of arecanut (VTLAH1 and VTLAH2)

  • In cocoa, 321  germplasm collections including 281 exotic and 40 indigenous clones are being conserved under Arecanut and Coconut at CPCRI, Regional Station, Vittal, Karnataka.



  • Seven varieties of cocoa are released including four hybrids (VTLCH-1, VTLCH-2, VTLCH-3 and VTLCH-4), one clone VTLCC-1 and two selections VTLCS-1 and VTLCS-2. They exhibited high pod and dry bean yields, bigger and bold beans with less shell contents, high nib recovery, richness in fat, tolerance to water stress and suitability to be grown both in arecanut and coconut gardens.


  • Softwood grafting technology has been standardized in cocoa and utilised for mass multiplication.


  • Scion bank and compact block on varieties are established with mother trees.


  • Six bi-clonal and one poly-clonal orchards are established with 1100 trees for F1 seed production at CPCRI, Research Centre, Kidu, Karnataka.


  • Quality planting material of mandate crops are being produced to the extent of more than 1.2 lakh coconut seed nuts, 3 lakh arecanut seed nuts and 1.1 lakh cocoa grafts/ seedlings/ seed pods.


  • CPCRI nurseries at Kasaragod, Kidu and Vittal are recognized and accredited under 4* category by National Horticulture Board.


  • Protocol for regeneration of coconut plantlets from plumule explants through somatic embryogenesis developed.


  • Cryopreservation techniques have been standardized for mature coconut zygotic embryos and coconut pollen

  • DNA finger printing using molecular markers viz. RAPD, AFLP, DAF and microsatellites have been carried out in coconut and cocoa accessions to document the genetic integrity and diversity. About 139 coconut accessions have been characterized using SSR markers.  Mother palms used for seed production have been genotyped to develop markers for hybridity. Diverse germplasm accessions including dwarfs and talls are being used for developing markers for dwarf plant habit.


  • Tissue culture protocol has been standardised  for mass multiplication of arecanut from inflorescence explants and genetic  fidelity of in vitro derived plantlets has been assesed using molecular markers

  • Transcripts induced during water stress have been identified using differential display RT-PCR technique (DDRT-PCR). The clones were characterized into different functional groups based on the sequence similarities.


Cloning and identification of transcripts induce during water-stress in coconut

  • The nucleotide and protein sequences pertaining to known genes induced during water stress vizDREB, 14-3-3, aquaporins,9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase,WRKYNAC and epicuticular wax (CER, GL and Wax) were retrieved from the NCBI. Nucleotide sequences coding for conserved domain amino acids were selected for oligomer designing. The degenerate primers were used to amplify putative water stress responsive genes in coconut via RT-PCR. Amplicons of expected sizes were eluted, cloned and sequenced. Positive sequences were deposited in Genbank.

Isolation of genes induced during somatic embryogenesis in coconut.

  • The nucleotide and protein sequences pertaining to genes induced during somatic embryogenesis viz. SERK (somatic embryogenesis receptor kinase) and BBM (BABY BOOM) were retrieved from the NCBI.  Nucleotide sequences coding conserved domain amino acid was selected for oligomer designing. These degenerate primers were used to amplify, clone and sequence SERK and BBM genes in coconut


Cross transferability of SSR makers from coconut to related palms.

  • To study the cross transferability of SSR markers from coconut in other palms, 86 microsatellite markers specific to coconut were screened out of which 55 primers gave strong, clear bands of expected size range (100-300bp). These primers were tested for their cross-taxa amplification in oil palm, arecanut, palmyrah and date palm. The percentage of cross-amplification of coconut SSR loci in other palms were 36.36% in oil palm, 29.09% in arecanut, 18.18% in palmyrah and 12.70% in date palm.





Cloning of MAP kinase induced during water stress in coconut.

  • Coconut plantlets in vitro were subjected to water stress with PEG treatment and RNA was isolated from the leaves. Degenerate primers, designed for amplification ofMAP kinase, were used in single-step RT-PCR reactions with the isolated RNA as template. Bands of expected size were eluted, cloned and sequenced.  One fragment showed homology to known MAP kinase from other plants.



  • Under the Bioinformatics initiative, several comprehensive databases for the mandate crops have been developed.





Crop Protection




Root (Wilt) Disease
  • Etiology of root (wilt) disease of coconut was established as phytoplasma by electron microscopy, transmission through dodder, light microscopic staining techniques and molecular tools.
  • Molecular detection of phytoplasma associated with the root (wilt) disease of coconut was achieved by PCR using custom designed primers.
  • First reported the association of 16Sr XI group phytoplasma with coconut root (wilt) disease in India
  • A rapid and sensitive sero-diagnostic test (ELISA) was standardized for the early detection of root (wilt) disease.
  • Proutista moesta and Stephanitis typica were identified as the vectors and established their role in disease transmission.
  • Integrated disease management strategies were developed for heavily diseased tracts and mildly disease affected areas. An increase in yield of 25-83% depending on severity of disease can be obtained by adopting IDM

Root (Wilt) Disease affected Palm

Phytoplasma in sieve tubes of root (wilt) Disease affected Palms


Lace Bug ----Plant Hopper

(Stephanitis typica) --(Proutista moesta)

Leaf rot disease

  • Elucidated the etiology and symptomatology of leaf rot disease. Leaf rot is caused by fungal pathogens,mainly Colletotrichum gloeosporioides,  Exerohilum rostratum and Fusarium solani
  • Control measures were developed with fungicide (mancozeb/ hexaconazole) and biocontrol agents. Application of consortium of biocontrol agents (Pseudomonas fluorescens and Bacillus subtilis) along with phytosanitation was found to be effective in the management of leaf rot disease.

Leaf rot Disease affected Palm

Symptoms  of  leaf  rot Disease

Bud rot

  • Prophylactic treatment of pouring mancozeb solution (5g/300ml of water) coupled with placing of 2 mancozeb sachets (5 g/ sachet) in the inner most leaf axils was found to be effective in controlling the disease
  • A new eco-friendly method of prophylactic management of bud rot disease has been developed with phosphorus acid (Akomin) solution (0.5%) @ 300 ml/palm.
  • Developed integrated bud rot management strategy involving removal of disease advanced and dead palms, field and plant hygiene, treatment with fungicide, INM, control of other pests and diseases especially rhinoceros beetle infestation etc.

Bud rot affected Palm

Mancozeb Sachets

Stem bleeding

  • Root feeding with tridemorph and soil application of neem cake were found effective in managing stem bleeding disease of coconut.
  • Trichoderma virens, T. harzianum, T. viride and T. hamatum were found to be antagonistic to the stem bleeding pathogen Thielaviopsis paradoxa.

Bleeding Symptoms on the Stem
Fruit Rot and Immature Nut Fall
  • Lasiodiplodia theobromae was identified as the major causal organism of rotting and nut fall of eriophyid mite infested coconut.
  • Carbendazim or a combination product of carbendazim and mancozeb was found effective in controlling L. theobromae infection of coconuts.
  • If coconut is cultivated under organic farming system spraying of garlic bulb extract (10%) can be recommended for the management of fruit rot and immature nut fall in coconut.

Disease incidence in COD Variety

L. theobromae infection spreading to the kernel and causing extensive rotting

Yellow leaf disease

  • Etiology of yellow leaf disease (YLD) of arecanut was established as phytoplasma by electron microscopy and transmission studies with vectors.
  • Confirmed the phytoplasmal etiology of YLD through molecular characterization using custom designed primers.
  • Confirmed plant hopper Proutista moesta as vector of YLD
  • Standardized sero-diagnostic test for detection of  YLD
  • Management strategy is recommended in the initial stages of disease. Apply 220 g urea, 200g super phosphate and 230 g muriate of potash per palm / year in two split doses during pre and post monsoon period. In addition to the above, apply one kg of super phosphate in affected gardens. Apply organic manure @ 12 kg each of compost and green leaves per palm per year. Avoid water stagnation by providing drainage facility. Control other pests and diseases.

Foliar Symptoms of YLD

Phytophthora diseases

  • Phytophthora meadii was found to be the causative agent of fruit rot and bud rot diseases of arecanut.
  • Developed a linear model based on multiple regression analysis to predict the fruit rot incidence four days in advance
  • Covering bunches with poly bags prior to monsoon  was incorporated  as a component in IDM of mahali
  • Developed crown rot management strategy using  0.3% phosphorous acid

Fruit Rot caused by P.meadii

Bud rot Disease


Inflorescence dieback and Button shedding

  • Elucidated disease cycle of arecanut inflorescence dieback
  • Developed IDM for  inflorescence dieback
  • Remove the fully affected inflorescence and destroy them by burning to prevent the spread and severity of the disease.

Inflorescence Dieback

Anabe or Foot Rot

  • Established the association of Ganoderma applanatum with the disease incidence
  • Developed IDM practices for foot rot of arecanut

Anabe or Foot Rot


Phytophthora diseases

  • Phytophthora palmivora (A2 mating type) was found to be the predominant species causing black pod and stem canker diseases in India
  • Rare incidence of black pod disease caused by P. capsici and P. citrophthora has been reported from Kerala state
  • Cocoa accession C78 was found to be less susceptible to black pod disease caused by P. palmivora
  • Developed IDM for black pod and canker
  • A technique has been recently developed to control stem canker using the biocontrol agent, Trichoderma harzianum


Black Pod  Disease caused by P.palmivora


External Lesion -----Internal Lesion

Stem Canker

Cherelle rot

  • Elucidated the symptomatology, etiology and seasonal cycle of cherelle rot of cocoa in India caused by Colletotrichum gleosporioides
  • Developed IDM for Colletotrichum pod rot

Cherelle rot

Utilization of Plantation crop Wastes
Developed low cost techniques for mass multiplication of bio-control agents utilizing plantation crop wastes like coconut water and cocoa sweating. Diluted cocoa sweating was found to be superior to conventional liquid media


T. harzianum multiplied in Cocoa Sweating

Developed a simple and highly economical low cost technology for farm level mass production of biocontrol agents using diluted cocoa sweating, bean shell and pod husk

T. harzianum multiplied in unsterilized Cocoa bean shell moistened with Cocoa Sweating

A very promising mycological culture medium was developed using cocoa bean shell, an industrial waste.

Developed technologies for production  of oyster mushroom utilizing arecanut wastes

Oyster mushroom grown on Areca Leaf
Developed technologies for production of coir pith formulation of Trichoderma (Trichoderma coir pith cake)

Trichoderma Coir Pith Cake
Pesticide slow release product was developed using coir pith

Coir Pith based Pesticide slow release Product



Rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros)

Metarhizium anisopliae var. major was identified as a potential pathogen on Oryctes grubs. The mass production of the fungus on solid substrates viz., cassava chips, rice bran mixture supplemented with nitrogen source and  partially cooked rice media  have been developed at CPCRI.

The fungal spores are to be applied @ of 5 x 1011 spores / m3 on the breeding pits in which the beetles breed.

The mode of infection of Oryctes Nudi virus (OrNV) on rhinoceros beetle grubs has been established. Mass production of the virus is done by rearing the grubs on virus inoculated food such as sterilized cow dung, saw dust, coir pith etc. or by mouth feeding the healthy grubs with viral suspension and rearing them on sterilized food materials. Release of 12-15 infected beetles per hectare was recommended to disseminate the virus in nature.

Shade dried leaf powder of the common weed plant Clerodendron infortunatum proved its insecticidal property against Oryctes rhinoceros at 10% w/w. Incorporation of the whole plant in the breeding sites of rhinoceros beetle proved to be effective in checking the build up of the pest in the breeding sites.

Application of naphthalene balls @ 10-12 g/ palm or leaf axil filling of powdered marotti cake (Hydnocarpus) @250g/palm+ fine sand 250 g or leaf axil filling with  chlorantraniliprole (0.4WG) / chloridust @5g mixed with 250g of sand during April-May, and September -October proved to be effective as a prophylactic control measure for rhinoceros beetle and red weevil.

A modified PVC trap was developed to be used with pheromone  to attract the rhinoceros beetle adults.

Rhinoceros Beetle Damage with Biostages

M. anisopliae infected Grubs

Oryctes virus infected Grubs

Red Palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus)

Developed IPM package for red palm weevil that includes cleaning of palm crown periodically to avoid decaying of organic debris, proper cutting, splitting and burning of red palm weevil infested palms, treating of any wounds on the palm with coal tar and stem injection with spinosad 0.013%.

Prophylactic leaf axil filling with  250 g marotti oil cake (Hydnocarpus sp.) + 200 g of fine sand in leaf axils around spindle during May, September and December  has been found to be effective.

A red palm weevil lure ferrugineol was formulated at CPCRI. Unlike the sachets used in commercial lure the CPCRI lure was made of glass capillary of 6 cm in length and id. of 1.5 mm. Each glass capillary had 100 µl ie 78.5 mg of ferrugineol with the density of 0.76g/cc. CPCRI lure was cost effective as compared to the imported lures.

The role of kairomones of red palm weevil were identified and tested under laboratory conditions. Pheromone lure when placed in isolation did not yield desirable results; hence they had to be associated with food baits. Among the various phagostimulants that were evaluated to be used in tandem with pheromone lure, it was observed that macerated plantain (200gm) or sugarcane bits attracted more weevils (an average of 8 weevils/trap/week), whilst the pheromone trap without food bait had a lowest weevil catch of 1 weevil/trap / week. Volatiles emanating from food baits are identified. Slow delivery mechanism of pheromone have been developed

Affected Palm

Adult (Weevil)--------Pheromone

Red Palm weevil

Leaf eating caterpillar (Opisina arenosella)

Techniques were evolved at CPCRI for mass multiplication of the promising parasitoids namely Goniozus nephantidis, Bracon brevicornis, Elasmus nephantidis and Brachymeria nosatoi which are being currently recommended for biocontrol of Opisina

Release rate of the parasitoids have been fixed. G. nephantidis, E. nephantidis and B. nosatoi are to be released at fixed norms of 20.5, 49.4 and 31.9% of larval, prepupal and pupal stage of the pest respectively. In a multistage condition of the pest, a combined release of all the parasitoids @40% of each of the target pest stage is required. Mass production technique for Apanteles taragamae on early instar caterpillars of O. arenosella was evolved.

Olfactory conditioning in bethylid, Goniozus nephantidis an ectoparasitoid of coconut black headed caterpillar Opisina arenosella resulted in increased host searching ability of the parasitoid released in the field.



Larvae of Opisina arenosella

Adult of Goniozus nephantidis

Eriophyid mite (Aceria guerreronis)

In the year 1998 CPCRI first identified and reported the occurrence of the coconut infesting eriophyid mite, Aceria guerreronis. This report was the first for the whole of Asia. Palms receiving root feeding of 10 ml Neemazal + 10 ml water and palms base drenched with 10 ml Neemazal along with soil application of Neemcake showed the highest percentage reduction in the eriophyid mite infestation.

The acaropathogenic fungus Hirsutella thompsonii has been identified as potential bioagent against the eriophyid mite Aceria guerreronis. Talc based formulations of two isolates CPCRI -19 and CPCRI 51 (11) are virulent. Two rounds spraying  of the fungal formulation caused a reduction to a tune of 44 – 73 %.

Developed management strategies for eriophyid mite using botanochemicals. Spraying neem formulation containing 1% azadirachtin @ 4 ml/ l of water or 2% neem oil, garlic emulsion on button  during April-May, Oct.-Nov. and Dec.-Jan., in such a way that all mite infested palms in an area should be covered at the shortest possible interval.

Eriophyid mite

White grub (Leucopholis coneophora)

Developed IPM technology that includes deep ploughing and digging of soil during pre- and post-monsoon period, collection and destruction of adult beetles during peak emergence period in May-June. 

Mechanical capturing and destruction of  beetles during peak emergence period.

Coconut root Grub

Coreid bug (Paradasynus rostratus)

Spraying of 0.5% neam oil to the button.

Coreid bug Damaged nut

Rodents(arboreal black rat Rattus rattus wroughtoni, burrowing rodents  Bandicota bengalensis, B. indica, Gerbils  Tatera indica)

Placing of single dose anticoagulant bromodiolone (0.005%)  10 g blocks twice at an interval of 12 days on the palm crown of one tree out of every 5 trees was found effective against arboreal black rat.


Termites (Odontotermes obesus)

Drenching the nursery with 0.05 % chlorpyriphos twice at 20-25 days internal or swabbing the affected portion of the trunk in adult palms with 0.05 % chlorpyriphos solution was found  effective.


White grub (Leucopholis lepidophora Blanch)

Basin application of neem cake @2kg/palm/year during June to July for re-generation of affected roots.

Two round applications of insecticide is recommended viz., spraying of chlorpyriphos @ 2kg ai/ha or bifenthrin @ 2 kg ai/ha during August second week. Root zone application of chlorpyrifos 20 EC @ 7ml/palm during the  last week of September.

Repeating ploughing the field(5-6 times) from(Aug-Dec) to expose the grubs to predator.

Mechanical capturing and destruction of beetle during peak emergence period.

Root Grubs of Arecanut

Spindle  bug of arecanut (Carvalhoia arecae)

Sucking of plant sap by the nymphs and adults of spindle bug result in typical linear, dark brown lesions which turn necrotic on the spindle.  Damaged open leaves dry up and drop off. Severely affected spindle leaves fail to unfurl completely. Infestation in young exposed plantations results in severe manifestation of symptoms during summer months.

Spray spindle leaf and inner most leaves of palms in infested plantations with dimethoate (0.06%) 30 EC 2 ml/ lit of water.

Spindle Bug

Red and White Mites (Raoiella indica and Oligonychus indicus)

Spraying dimethoate (0.06%) 30EC @ 2 ml/litre of water to the lower surface of leaves was effective in reducing the pest incidence.

Damage caused by mite

Immature fruit drop

Feeding by Halyomorpha marmorea was identified as a cause for immature fruit drop with shrinking and browning of kernels.

An egg parasitoid of the pentatomid bug, Halyomorpha marmorea which causes immature fruit drop in areca palm is identified as  Anastatus bangalorensis (Hymenoptera:  Eupelmidae).

Spraying dimethaote (0.06%) 30EC 2ml/litre of water to the tender bunches of the affected palms and surrounding few palms.

Adults of Halyomorpha

Kernal browning due to damage by Halyomorpha

Scale Insect

Spraying dimethaote (0.06%) 30EC 2ml/litre of water to the tender bunches was found to be effective in containing scale insects.

Cowpea, bhendi, bitter gourd, chillies etc, were identified as alternate host for this pest.

Lady bird beetle, Chilocorus nigrita was identified as an effective predator against the scale insects.


Arecanut infested by Scales


Tea mosquito bug

The damage symptoms like necrosis and dieback of shoots, bark roughening, destruction of flowers and cherelles were identified as symptoms due to  damage.

In cherelles, feeding punctures cause distortion during growth.

Yield reduction was reported up to 30 to 40 %.


Adults of tea musquito Bug

Damage caused by Feeding


Placing 10g Bromodiolone (0.005%) wax cakes on the branches of cocoa trees twice at an interval of 10-12 days will check the rat damage was found as an effective technique to manage the rodents

Squirrels gnaw the pods in the center and damage only the mature ones. They   feed on the mucilage covering of the beans.   Trapping with wooden or wire mesh single catch ‘live’ trap with ripe coconut kernel as the bait is effective.  Timely harvest of the pods will help in increasing the efficiency of poison baiting as well as trapping.


Crop Production



  • Nursery management techniques comprising selection of garden, mother palm and seed nuts, planting and maintaining the nursery, and the technique for raising polybag nursery were standardized.
  • Square system of planting at a spacing of 7.5 x 7.5 m with a plant density of 175 palms/ ha is recommended for monocrop and coconut based cropping system.
  • Recommended dose of fertilizer for coconut palm is application of  Organic Manure @50kg/palm or 30 kg green manure, 500 g N, 320 g P2O5 and 1200 g K2O/palm/year in two split doses during September and May.  Application of magnesium @500 g MgO per palm was found to be advantageous in areas where palms show yellowing of leaves (Coconut root (wilt) affected gardens) through soil application.
  • Application of 200 litres of water once in four days was recommended for irrigating coconut palms by basin irrigation method.
  • Drip irrigation @ 66 % of the open pan evaporation (27 to 32 litres of water per palm per day under Kasaragod conditions) from December to May is ideally suited for coconut resulting in 34 per cent saving of water.
  • Sprinkler irrigation or perfo irrigation with 20 mm (IW / CPE = 1) water was found to be the best suited to inter or mixed cropping systems where the entire surface requires wetting.
  • Fertilizer saving through drip fertigation i.e., 50% of the recommended dose of fertilizer when applied through drip fertigation is sufficient to give a yield equivalent to 100 % of the recommended dose of fertilizer. Fertilizers viz., 70 g   Urea, 60 g DAP and 170 g Muriate of Potash are recommended for a single dose for one palm. A total of 7 times the fertigation can be applied through drip irrigation. For phosphorus application, commercial phosphoric acid also can be used.
  • Moisture conservation methods such as mulching with coconut husk, coir dust, coconut leaves, etc. in addition to application organic manures or green manures, intercrop cultivation, bunding, terracing, etc. are recommended.
  • In sloppy terrains, trench filled with coconut husk, half moon bund, staggered catch pit reinforced with pineapple and growing CO3 grass across the slope, were proved successful in soil and water conservation.
  • Surface runoff water harvesting and Roof water harvesting were successfully implemented and harvested water was utilised for irrigation.
  • The technique for utilization of leguminous cover crops such as Pueraria phaseoloides, Mimosa invisa  and Calopogonium species as green manures to supply biologically fixed nitrogen and easily decomposable biomass to coconut, to substitute  50 % nitrogen fertilizer, was standardized.
  • Growing Glyricidia as green manure crop and using the biomass as green manure was found to be ideal for management of littoral sandy soils.




  • The technology for vermicomposting of coconut palm wastes by using a local earthworm, Eudrilus sp., closely related to the African night crawler, was standardized.
  • Multiplication technique for the local Eudrilus sp. of earthworm using 1:1 cow dung-decayed leaves mixture was standardized and the earthworms are being distributed to the farmers to initiate vermicomposting.
  • Production of vermiwash from coconut leaf vermicompost has been standardized and its beneficial impact on crop growth is being assessed.
  • Utilization of coconut wastes for oyster mushroom cultivation (P. florida, P. sajor caju, P. flabellatus, P. opuntia and P. eous) was found to be economically feasible.
  • Beijerinckia indica, Azospirillum spp., Burkholderia sp., Azoarcus sp., etc. were effective bioinoculants for better establishment of nursery seedlings.
  • Four coconut PGPRS - P. putida KnSF 208, B. coagulans RSB 14, B. megaterium TSB 16 and B. megaterium TEB 2 and four cocoa PGPRs - P. putida KDSF 23, B. licheniformis KGEB 16, B. cereus ASB 3 and B. subtilis VEB 4 gave the highest increase in planr growth parameters. All the eight isolates have been identified using biochemical, BIOLOG and molecular based procedures.
  • Developed organic farming practices for coconut to achieve coconut yield of over 100 nuts per palm per year with recycling of farm wastes, application of nitrogen fixing legumes and biofertilizers.
  • Coconut based cropping systems involving cultivation of compatible crops like tubers, flowering, medicinal and aromatic crops, fruits, vegetables, spice crops, in the interspaces of coconut was economically superior to coconut monocropping.
  • Coconut-based high-density multispecies cropping systems (HDMSCS) involving many crops like  banana, pineapple, clove, and pepper was established.
  • Application of 2/3rd of recommended NPK along with recycling available biomass in the farm of vermicompost resulted in sustainable yield in the system.The system provided a net income of Rs.85000/- per ha/annum.
  • Mixed farming system  including coconut, dairy, poultry, rabbitry, sericulture and pisciculture has been successfully demonstrated in coconut,under kasaragod condition.System provided organic manures for recycling,additional man power and additional income to a coconut farmer.
  • Mixed cropping with CO3 hybrid Nopier fooder grass provided sufficient green grass to feed 5 to 7 cows from one ha coconut  garden.
  • Banana variety, Grand Naine, Elephant foot yarn(gajendra),pinapple,vegetables were found to be a suitable intercrop for coconut gardens in littoral sandy soil with coir pith and husk as amendments.
  • Using Remote Sensing and GIS map, coconut plantation area and coconut root (wilt) disease affected coconut palms were identified with > 98% accuracy.
  • Carbon sequestration potential of coconut, arecanut and cocoa were determined and the values were 8 to 32 t CO2/ ha/ year in coconut, 5.14 to 10.94 t CO2/ ha/ year in arecanut and 2.02 to 3.89 t CO2/ ha/ year in cocoa depending on cultivar, agro-climatic zone, soil type and management practices.



A spacing of 2.7 X 2.7 m is found to be optimum for the growth of arecanut crop.

Irrigation with 200 litres of water per palm once in 6 days through hose is recommended.

Recommended fertilizer dose for arecanut is 100g N, 40g  POand 140g KO / palm / year.

Studies in arecanut - cocoa cropping system revealed that it is possible for carbon sequestration to the tune of 7.16 t/ha to 14.83 t/ha annually.

Drip irrigation @ 20liters of water per palm per day results in 45% yield increase and 44% saving in water in arecanut.

With respect to optimization of fertigation dose and frequency, 50% and 75% of the standardized fertilizer dose was sufficient for pre-bearing and bearing arecanut palms, respectively through drip fertigation.

During bearing stage, the cost of cultivation was estimated at Rs. 60,242 and Rs. 26,377/- for conventional method and drip fertigation, respectively. Fertigation of 75% NPK at 10 days interval was highly profitable with highest net returns per rupee investment of 4.57 followed 75% NPK fertigation at 20 days interval (4.44).

In 12 year old arecanut (cv. Sreemangala), total biomass production was significantly greater in high yielders (43.6 kg palm-1) than in low yielders (30.8 kg palm-1).  Trunk biomass accounted for 69% of the total biomass in high yielders and 74% in low yielders indicating less partitioning to other parts.

Total uptake of macronutrients by arecanut was in the order of N > K > Ca > P > Mg. The order of total uptake of micronutrients was Fe > Mn > Cu > B > Zn.

The yield levels of arecanut can be sustained at around 2600 kg ha-1 due to organic waste recycling. However, the response of arecanut to chemical fertilizers was more pronounced as the yield increase was 73-85% with NPK application compared to VC application alone (48-59%) and integrated treatments (46-63%) over control.

Vermicompost maintained higher SOC, soil test levels of P, Ca, and Mg than chemical fertilizers. Depletion of soil available K and accumulation of micronutrients was noticed in arecanut basins with vermicompost.

In arecanut based high density cropping systems having component crops like cocoa, pepper, banana and clove, comparatively similar yield levels and soil nutrient status was noticed with OMR and integrated use of chemical fertilizers and OMR.

The result emphasizes that the system can be self-sustainable over a long term period. Application of N and P through inorganic fertilizers could be reduced or skipped, while the system proved exhaustive with regard to the availability of K.

Intercropping of MAPs in arecanut increased the productivity per unit area by 272 to 1524 kg ha-1. This amounted to the total system productivity of arecanut + MAPs intercropping system to the tune of 2990 to 4144 kg ha-1 while the average sole arecanut yield was 2795 kg ha-1.

The net return per rupee investment was highest in Cymbopogon flexuosus (4.25) followed by Bacopa monnieri (3.64), Ocimum basilicum (3.46) and Artemisia pallens (3.12).

On the basis of yield, quality and economic feasibility, recycling of gliricidia prunings from standards and vermicompost application alone or in combination with husk mulching are better options for intercropped vanilla in arecanut.

Growing of vanilla on gliricidia standards did not affect the arecanut yield and the average kernel yield of arecanut during the experimental period was 3114 kg ha-1.

Optimum foliar concentrations for N, P, K, Ca and Mg were established as 2.70, 0.23, 1.12, 0.61 and 0.20%, respectively. Optimum micronutrient concentrations (mg kg-1) were estimated at 146 for Fe, 56.5 for Mn, 2.6 for Cu, 45.8 for Zn, 39.5 for B, 432 for Al and 63 for Na.

Optimum soil nutrient limits were higher for laterite soils in arecanut tract than generalized guidelines for interpretation of soil analysis data. At 0-30cm soil depth, optimum nutrient concentration for P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn and B was established as 15, 192, 925, 179, 37, 88, 26, 5.5 and 1.4 mg kg-1, respectively.

Nutritional disorders like crown choking, crown bending and oblique nodes in arecanut are due to deficiency of zinc and zinc deficiency in arecanut may be the result of complex interactions between DTPA extractable Zn and other nutrients in soil.










































Softwood grafting is the most successful propagation technology

Canopy architecture by pruning and planned cutting of branches have been standardized for canopy management under intercropping and in sole crop

Cocoa is planted at a spacing of 2.7m x 5.4m in pits of 60 cm3 filled with compost in areca garden planted at a spacing of 2.7m x 2.7m with provision of shade.

When cocoa is to be raised as a mixed crop with coconut, cocoa can be planted at 2.7 m apart in single hedge system and 2.5m apart in paired rows in double hedge system between two rows of coconut palms.

The crop is to be irrigated once in a week during November-December, once in 6 days during January-March and once in 4-5 days during April-May with about 175 liters of water.

Systematic study for 10 years on drip irrigation and fertilizer requirement of cocoa mixed cropped in arecanut revealed that drip irrigation at E0 of unity (20 liters of water per day per tree) and a fertilizer dose of 100: 40: 140 g of N, P2O5 and K2O per tree per year would be optimum for cocoa.










Plant Physiology Biochemistry and PHT


Agro Processing Centre

 To impart training to entrepreneurs on the production of Virgin Coconut Oil, Coconut Chips, Copra Dryers, Snow Ball Tender Coconut, Tender Nut Punch and Cutter etc.

Safety device for coconut climbing machine

Application: When attached the safety device provides fool proof safety to the person climbing coconut using the Chemberi model coconut climbing machine

Unit cost: Rs.250/- (excluding the cost of body harness)
Coconut chips

Application: Coconut chips with different flavour sweet, salted and etc. can be prepared.
Unit cost : Rs.1.5 lakh
Output capacity: 300 coconuts / day

Physiology & Biochemistry

  • The physiological and biochemical basis of seedling vigour in coconut and its relationship to productivity was worked out.
  • Screening techniques for drought tolerance at seedling, adult palm and invitro condition using the osmoticum is perfected.
  • Based on physiological and biochemical basis of drought tolerance, strategies are devised to manage the drought under field condition.

  • An infocrop –coconut model is developed to simulate the growth and production of coconut under present and future climates.
  • Open top chamber (OTC) facility is created to study the  growth of coconut, arecanut and cocoa seedlings under elevated CO2 and temperature.

Open top chamber(OTC) facility at CPCRI,Kasargod to study the effect of elivated CO2 and temperature on plantation crops.


  • Coconut cultivars/ hybrids were characterized based on fatty acid profiles for edible and industrial purposes.
  • Shelf life of coconut oil can be enhanced by storing it in brown bottles, plastic cans or clay jars with preservatives.
  • Coconut hybrids such as Keraganga, Chandralaksha, Kerasankara and talls like Chandrakalpa and West Coast Tall were identified as relatively drought tolerant compared to the other varieties and hybrids.
  • Chandrasankara is found to be more susceptible to drought under sandy and sandy loam soil than laterite soil under rainfed condition.
  • Drought management practices such as husk burial and composted coir pith application were found to increase the nut yield under rainfed conditions.
  • In order to understand the adaptation of coconut to high temperature the quantification of stress responsive proteins and the anti-oxidant enzymes is perfected.

Burial of composted coir pith in palm basins


Burial of coconut husk in palm basins


  • The saponification value, peroxide value, iodine value, free fatty acid, acid value, quantification is perfected.
  • Fatty acid profile of coconut oil from different varieties across different agro-climatic zones is being done.
  • Canopy architect and pruning are important for higher productivity of cocoa.Highest Yields were obtained at cocoa spacing of 2.7x5.4 m and large canopy(20m2) in areca gardens.
  • Carbon sequestration by terrestrial biomass is one of the mitigation options used for education of GHGs.Areca-cocoa system had a standing biomass of 23.5,54.9 and 87.10 t ha-1 in 5th,8th and 15th years of growth,respectively.Annual increments in biomass or net primary productivity ranged from 1.38-2.66t ha-1 in cocoa and 3.34-7.11 t ha-1 in areca.The biomass and primary productivity is considerable with areca-cocoa mixed crop and comparable to any agroforestry  systems involving cocoa.

  • Five accessions[(NC23(p3xp); NC29(P6xP4); NC 31(P12xP2); NC39(T7/12); NC42(T86/2)] and two hybrids[II-67xNC 42/94,II-67xNC 29/66] have been identified as drought tolerant.
  • Stomatal resistance was significantly higher in outer and middleleaves of diseased palms while transpiration and Pn were lower.The altered value of chlorophyll flurescence indices in YLD palms reflected abnormal arrangement of antennae pigments of PS II(Fo),inhibition of QA reduction(Fm) and reduction of photosynthetic quantum yield(Fv/Fm).These results indicated that the carboxylation efficiency was affected.Leaf water potential and turgor potential were significantly higher while osmotic potential was lower in diseased leaves showing that disease leads to stomatal closure independent of water deficit.

Pre and Post Harvest Technology

The following pre and post harvest technologies are developed to enhance the coconut value addition, labour saving and drudgery reducing farm machineries.


Coconut chips

Application: Coconut chips with different flavour sweet, salted and etc. can be prepared.
Unit cost : Rs.1.5 lakh
Output capacity: 300 coconuts / day

Coconut Slicing Machine for making chips

Capacity:7.5 kg/hour, cost:Rs.50,000/-

Snow Ball Tender Nut Machine

Application: To produce snowball tendernut from tender coconut
Unit cost : Rs.20,000/-
Output capacity: Ten snowball tendernuts per hour

Shell Fired Copra Dryer

Application/Use: For drying coconut to make copra for oil extraction
Unit cost: Rs.33000/-
Output Capacity:1000 nuts per batch

Solar cum Electrical Dryer

Capacity 2000nuts/batch
Time : 24 hrs
Fuel : Solar and electrical energy
Cost : Rs.45000/-
Cost of drying : Rs.2.75/kg copra
Automatic temp. control
For medium scale industries

Copra moisture meter

Application/Use: To measure moisture content of copra
Unit cost:Rs.2000/

Coconut de-shelling machine

Application/Use: For separating shell and copra after partial drying
Unit cost: Rs.50,000/-
Output Capacity: 5000 nuts / hr

Tender nut punch and cutter

Application/Use: For drinking tender nut water
Unit cost: Rs.3500/-
Output Capacity: 150 – 200 nuts/hr

Telescopic sprayer for Palms

Application: For spraying palms from the ground up to 40ft height
Unit cost: Rs.12500/-
Output Capacity: Arecanut-100 palms/hr, Coconut-15-20 palms/hr

Coconut Climbing Device

Application: Climbing coconut tree
Unit cost: Rs.10,000/- including safety mechanism
Output capacity: 25minutes to climb up and down a coconut tree of 30m height

Virgin Coconut Oil by Fermentation and Hot Process Method

Application: To produce Virgin Coconut Oil from coconut milk – a value added product from coconut                                               
Unit cost : Rs.5,50,000/-                            
Output capacity: 500 nuts/day

Coconut Testa Remover

Application: For the removal of coconut testa for production of coconut chips and virgin coconut oil.                                           
Unit cost:Rs.60,000/-                                 
Output capacity:45nuts/hr

Coconut Milk Extractor

Application: To extract milk from coconut for production of VCO by fermentation and hot process                                                        
Unit Cost: Rs.50,000/-                                    
Output capacity: 100 nuts/hr

VCO Cooker

Application: For production of virgin coconut oil by hot process
Output capacity: 125litre/batch/6hrs



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 00:28:38


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