Mother Palm to sprout local coconuts
ALAPPUZHA: ICAR-CPCRI Kayamkulam has successfully launched a unique mission Amma Thengu (Mother Palm) for protecting non-hybrid common coconut varieties. As part of the project, a team of scientists went to Bharanikavu panchayat here and selected 52 mother palms from all 12 wards of the panchayath. Out of them, some 600 seedlings having high-level resistance capacity were produced. The project will be expanded to Chunakkara and Vallikunnam panchayats.
Dr V. Krishnakumar, head, CPCRI, said the project was under ICAR’s flagship programme Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav (MGMG). It focuses on building up the confidence in local varieties other than hybrid palms. "We introduced the project as farmers in Bharanikavu panchayat demand quality and disease-free coconut seedlings. We proposed the decentralised seedling production mission," he said.
"The scientists helped farmers identify root (wilt) disease-free mother palms, collect seed nuts and scientifically raise them for producing quality seedlings through participatory mode."
Farmers raised about 600 coconut seedlings in this mission and distribution of these coconut seedlings held the other day. Ramani Gopalakrishnan, CEO, Bharanik-avu Panchayat Coconut Producer’s Company appreciated the uniqueness of the programme. "We have published pamphlets Good Management of Coconut Seedlings. It had helped farmers to get scientific tips during cultivation”, she said.
P. Anitha Kumari, the principal scientist, said that the farmers were so cooperative. A farmer Mami Oommen, Polachirackal, Kattachira, had provided her land for raising the seedlings. A farmer-scientist interface was also convened to address their queries on coconut health management. Apart from Mr Krishnakumar and Ms Anithakumari, Dr A. Joseph Rajkumar, Dr M. Shareefa, and Dr S. Induja took part.