Event Statement

The Government of Kerala and the Coconut Development Board, Government of India, are jointly holding an International Conference and Exposition on Coconut Development in order to formulate ways of taking the sector forward. The two-day Conference and Exposition will be held on November 2 and 3, 2019. The Conference is organised by the State Planning Board in collaboration with the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation. The Exposition is organised by Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation. The Conference and Exposition will be held at The Gateway Hotel, Kozhikode, Kerala.

The Conference will bring together experience and expertise from Kerala and other parts of India and the world. It will raise issues of modern coconut farming, the most recent technological developments in value-addition, the contemporary trade regime, and institutional arrangements for coconut development. The Conference will draw on Indian experience and experience of scientists and policy makers of leading producer countries of the world.

The objective of the Conference is to help Kerala learn from the best practices in the world with respect to industrial applications to coconut, and coconut production itself. Kerala must formulate a strategy for a sustained growth path with respect to production and productivity of coconut as well as value addition in the coconut industry. The Conference will try to evolve a sustainable and integrated development model for coconut cultivation and coconut-based industry in the State, by means of enhanced productivity, diversified value-added products, and market opportunities.

The Exposition will offer a platform for processors, manufacturers, suppliers, fabricators, and entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services. It will serve as a Business-to-Business (B2B) Meet for local buyers and national and international buyers, processors, and suppliers.

Together, the Exposition and the Conference will provide a platform for interaction between farmers, scientists, industrial entrepreneurs, producers’ organisations, and Government to meet and discuss new technologies, best practices, research results, current market trends, and opportunities for primary production and value addition.

International Coconut Conference & Expo-Interactive Session with Business Fraternity

Gains from the Conference


  • Learn from the best practices in leading producer countries
  • Familiarise with modern farming methods
  • Know more about modern agricultural equipment
  • Learn from India’s top cultivators


  • Be a part of latest technological developments
  • Explore new potentials in value addition and innovation
  • Learn from top producers in India and the world
  • Understand current market trends


  • Business-to-business (B2B) meet with buyers, processors, and suppliers
  • Explore business opportunities and partnerships
  • Explore investment avenues
  • Learn about new business models

Policy makers

  • Learn from policies and programmes of leading countries
  • Understand the emerging requirements of the sector
  • Discuss implications of trade policies in the sector
  • Explore emerging thrust areas in production, value addition and marketing

International Speakers

  • Dr Steve W Adkins Professor, University of Queensland (UQ), Brisbane, Australia
  • Dr. Normansyah Syahruddin Deputy Director for Market Development for Estate Crops Products, Directorate General of Estate Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, Indonesia.
  • Dr. Priyanthie Fernando Former Director, Coconut Research Institute, Sri Lanka
  • Edna A Anit, PhD Officer in Charge, Crops Research Division (CRD), DOST-PCAARRD, Philippines

National Speakers

  • Dr. KSMS Raghavarao Director of CSIR-CFTRI
  • Dr. V Niral Principal Scientist (Genetics) in the Division of Crop Improvement, ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod.
  • Dr. K B Hebbar Head of Division, Plant Physiology, Biochemistry and Post-Harvest Technology, ICAR-CPCRI, Kasaragod.
  • R Ramakumar NABARD Chair Professor, School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
  • Ajit Mathai Founding Partner, mByom Consulting and Management Services LLP, Chennai
  • Prof. Dr. Rakesh Kumar Sharma Vice Chancellor, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Chennai, and former Director, Defence Food Research Laboratory, Mysore, Karnataka.
  • Dr. Thamban. C Principal Scientist (Agrl. Extension) at ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod.
  • Dr Jacob John Professor and Head, Integrated Farming System Research Station, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
  • Dr. K.M. Nair Former Principal Scientist, ICAR-NBSS&LUP, Bangalore.
  • James J. Nedumpara  Professor and Head, Centre for Trade and Investment Law
  • Dr. Regi Jacob Thomas Principal Scientist (Horticulture), ICAR - Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasargode
  • Dr Ravi Bhat Head, Division of Crop Production, ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod

Experience sharing

  • Mr. C. H. Mohamed Managing Director of Connolly Agriculture Producer Company Pvt. Ltd.
  • Krishnanunni. K. Farmer, Winner of Karshakothaman and Kashakasree
  • Mr. Sunny George Chairman, Thejaswini Coconut Farmers Producer Company Ltd.
  • Mr. Paul Francis Managing Director, KLF Nirmal Industries (P) Ltd
  • Mr. Rajarathinam. K. Proprietor, Essar Engineering , Coimbatore
  • K.C. Sreedharan Nambiar Director of Anjarakandy Farmers’ Service Co-operative Bank
  • Mr. Ananthakrishnan Managing Partner, Ananth Dryers
  • Mr. M. A. Lukmanjee Managing Director, Adamjee Lukmanjee Group of Companies
  • Mr. Ubais Ali Executive Director, Mezhukkattil Mills
  • Malappattam Prabhakaran Journalist, Award winning writer specialising in Agriculture
  • Jijo Paul Founder & CEO, Resnova Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
  • Dominic M. M. Farmer, Winner of National Award for Best Coconut Farmer, 2014-16
  • O.V.R. Somasundaram Award winning planter and expert, Tamil Nadu
Dr Steve W Adkins

He obtained his PhD in weed physiology from the University of Reading in England in 1981 and has served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon in Canada (1981-84) and at Murdoch University, Perth, Australia (1984-88). He is now based at UQ and has spent the last 30 years studying various tropical and subtropical crops and pastures, their weeds and the native plant community. Steve has held several leadership roles at UQ since 2010, including Deputy Director and Acting Director in the UQ Centre for Plant Architectural Informatics. In these roles, he has led initiatives that have improved teaching quality and the student experience, instituted guidelines and funding schemes for supporting the career development of RHD students and ECRs, and established several new cross-cutting research networks in collaboration with key external partners. He has served as Treasurer and for two terms as the President of the Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society. His research focus is tropical plants especially coconut, and conservation using ex situ seed banking and tissue culture. He has been a principle investigator and scientific advisor on more than 50 scientific projects worth more than $12 million. He has published more than 180 peer reviewed papers in international journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and supervised more than 50 research higher degree and 40 honours students to completion.

Major Five Publications

E-mail: s.adkins@uq.edu.au


Coconut Improvement: Tissue Culture Techniques for the Collection, Conservation and Multiplication of Elite Germplasm

Steve Adkins, Mike Foale, Julianne Biddle and Quang Thien Nguyen
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.
E-mail: s.adkins@uq.edu.au

Primarily grown on 12 million hectares across more than 90 tropical and subtropical, coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) is one of the world’s most highly valued palm crops. This species contributes directly to the amenity and income for 20 million small-holder farmers and their dependents, providing food, health benefits, structural products as well as aesthetic beauty to the landscape. Apart from coconut water and sugar, beneficial effects of various oil products have been increasingly acknowledged worldwide by users, becoming one of the most attractive functional foods in the recent years. In addition, special coconut varieties, which have uniquely deliciously buttery endosperm or a flavoursome water, are also attracting considerable attention in many countries. However, coconut productivity has been constrained by several factors, including those of advanced palm age, reduced soil fertility, extreme weather events, the wide spread incidence of phytophagous insects and lethal diseases as well as competition for traditional lands from other crops. There is now a significant requirement for producing new palms, from a wide range of elite genotypes, on a large scale, to replace the old, unproductive palms and to meet the increase in demand for the new commodities in an expanding market. Since the traditional method for propagation, directly from the bulky fruit, is usually labour-intensive, uneconomical and vulnerable to many diseases, tissue culture has become an important way of producing seedlings of “clones” with desirable traits. For the creation of such clone’s wild populations need to be sourced for their unique yield and disease and pest resistance traits, such unique germplasm then needs to be conserved and made available for selection and incorporation into new genetic lines, prior to rapid multiplication through clonal propagation. Tissue culture now provides pragmatic solutions with improving protocols now available for each of these steps. Protocols are available for (i) embryo isolation, culture and movement; (ii) clonal propagation via somatic embryogenesis for rapid multiplication and (iii) germplasm conservation via cryopreservation. Although routine embryo culture and cryopreservation are now possible, the lower than desired efficiency of conversion of somatic embryos to ex vitro seedlings still restrains the large-scale clonal propagation of coconut in many laboratories. Although the protocols of tissue culture for coconut have dramatically improved over the recent years, further improvement is desirable and their application to a wider range of germplasm needs to take place to boost their adoption for the breeding, conservation and rapid propagation of coconut.


Coconut, Cryopreservation, Embryo culture, Germplasm conservation, Somatic embryogenesis

Dr. Normansyah Syahruddin

Dr Normansyah Syahruddin completed Phd Programme on Economics and Management of Technology (2009 – 2012) from Faculty of Engineering Universita Degli Studi di Bergamo, Italy He worked as Deputy Director for Market Development of Estate Crops Products, Head of Section for International Market Development, Head of the Program Subdivision, Assistant to Deputy Director for Analyze and Export Development, , and International Market Analyst at Directorate General of Processing and Marketing of Agriculture Products His major participation in International Fora (as Delegate) includes the second International Tea Business Conference & 16th Session FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea, 2005, ASEAN National Focal Point Working Group on Coconut, 2017, Asia Pacific Coconut Community (not International Coconut Community) meeting, 2017, The 21st Session FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea, 2014, The Meetings of ASEAN National Focal Point Working Group on Tea and The ASEAN National Focal Point Working Group on Coffee, 2005 – 2013, The Meeting of International Sugar Organization (England), 2005, The Meetings of Bilateral Cooperation between Indonesia and Malaysia for Palm Oil, Cocoa, Pepper and Jathropa, 2006 – 2014

Major Five Publications

1. Causality Relationship between Renewable and Non-renewable Energy Consumption and GDP in Indonesia. Arifin, Jauhari and Syahruddin, Normansyah. Economic and Finance in Indonesia. Vol. 59 No. 1. pp 1-18. 2011

2. Sustainable Supply Chain Management in the Agricultural Sector: a Literature Review. Syahruddin, Normansyah and Kalchschmidt, Matteo. International Journal Engineering Management and Economics. Vol. 3 No. 3. pp 237 – 258. 2012

3. Traceability in the Cocoa Supply Chain: an Indonesian Context. Proceeding Paper. http://www.pomsmeetings.org/ConfProceedings/025/FullPapers/FullPaper_files/0250129.pdf. 2012

4. Syahruddin, Normansyah (2011): Towards traceability in cocoa - chocolate supply chain, MPRA Paper. https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/31247/ . 2011

5. Syahruddin, Normansyah, Kalchschmidt, Matteo, and Seuring, Stefan. A Critical Analysis of Supply Chain Integration In The Agro-Food Industry. Proceeding Paper. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/fe98/c0a9d62b91ce16691fd8d87953af451204bb.pdf . 2012

E-mail: norman.syahruddin@gmail.com



Normansyah Syahruddin
Ministry of Agriculture

Following the important issue raised on the World Council of Economic Development in 1987 on sustainability, many countries are pursuing to reach the excellence of sustainability related to know-how such as environmental issues, human resource management issues, quality management issues and many more. Even more, the concept of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been flourishing since early 2000’s and being adopted in many countries in the world. To some extent, agriculture sector became the sector that prioritizes for sustainable development of a country, mostly in developing countries. Indonesia, in particular, has been prioritizing the sustainable agriculture development, not only in food sufficiency but also renewable energy. Many of the agricultural commodities are being develop accordingly to fulfil the 3 P’s (people, planet, and profit) principles of sustainable development. Thus, to achieve that, the importance of sustainability in agricultural supply chain become relevant and considers being equal to any other supply chain in the world. While considering its importance to the economic development of a country, recent attention on product development of agricultural products as well as on farmers’ welfare have increasingly significant and become more and more important to the governmental policy direction. To date, more that 70% of the available land in Indonesia is used for agricultural activities with more than three-fourth of the population work in the agricultural sector, both direct and indirect employment. Agricultural industry itself, has multiple effects whereas amongst them, estate crops is contributing more to the national income compare to the food crops, horticulture and livestock sub sectors, in term of export revenue. Coconut, as one of the commodity in the estate crops sub sector, plays important role in the market of food products and become important sector for the national income of Indonesia. The industry itself employs millions of farmers and contributes significantly to eradicate poverty in Indonesia as well as providing employment from the downstream to the upstream of the industry. However, coconut industry in Indonesia faced several problem and challenges in the global market. Issues such as low productivity, market access and lack of derivative products are becoming the obstacles for coconut development in Indonesia. The Government of Indonesia has implemented policies and programmes to support the coconut development. Replanting, rejuvenation and research and ii development are amongst the priorities programmes for Indonesia to support the development of coconut products in Indonesia. Furthermore, joint collaboration with other countries and participations in various international event also foster in order to achieve sustained coconut development.


sustainable development, coconut, farmers, government policies

Dr. Priyanthie Fernando

Dr Priyanthie Fernando obtained PhD in Entomology from the University of Queensland, Australia Although her expertise is mainly on biological control of insect pests, her research interest in pest management has been varied. Her important achievements are development of a biological control method for the coconut mite (Aceria guerreronis) using an indigenous predatory mite, development of an electronic device for early detection of red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) and development of technologies using pheromone-baited traps for mass trapping and use of Oryctes virus for the management of Oryctes beetle in coconut plantations. Leadership given in development of management strategies for Weligama Coconut leaf Wilt Disease and involvement in its successful management is a noteworthy achievement. She was the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) consultant for the management of two alien pests in the Maldives and the Philippines. She published many research papers in international and local journals and was an invited speaker in many international forums.

Major Five Publications

1. Fernando, L.C.P. (2003). Experiences on the role of pheromones in pest management in palms. Journal of Plantation Crops. 31(2): 1-9.

2. Fernando, L.C.P., Waidyarathne, K.P., Perera, K.F.G., De Silva, P.H.P.R. (2010) Evidence for suppressing coconut mite, Aceria guerreronis by inundative release of the predatory mite, Neoseiulus baraki. Biological Control. 53:108-111.

3. Siriwardena, K.A.P., Fernando, L.C.P., Nanayakkara, N., Kumara, A.D.N.T. and Nanayakkara, T. (2010) Portable acoustic device for detection of coconut palms infested by Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Crop Protection 29: 25-29.

4. Fernando, L.C.P., Waidyarathne, K.P., Perera, K.F.G., De Silva, P.H.P.R. (2010) Evidence for suppressing coconut mite, Aceria guerreronis by inundative release of the predatory mite, Neoseiulus baraki. Biological Control. 53:108-111.

5. Fernando, L.C.P. and Wijeseakara, H.T.R., Adihetty, S. and Mahilal, R.A.P. (2013) Maintenance of the diseased area and prevention of spread. In Weligama Coconut leaf Wilt Disease. H.P.M Gunasena, H.A.J Gunathilaka, L.C.P. Fernando, J.M.D.T Everard and P.H.A.N. Appuhamy (2013) (Eds.), Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka. pp 71-74.

Email: priyanthiefernando@yahoo.co.uk


Management of Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease : Sri Lankan experience

L.C.P Fernando, P.H.P.R De Silva and H. T. R. Wijesekara
Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka

Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease (WCLWD) was first reported in 2006 from Weligama area in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. It was confirmed as caused by a phytoplasma through molecular diagnosis. The symptoms of the disease closely resemble that of Root Wilt Disease prevalent in India. Since the disease was first reported the Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka embarked on an extensive research and management programme to understand the disease and develop suitable management strategies to reduce disease incidence and its spread. Multi-disciplinary research studies determined the disease symptoms and its progression, diagnostic tools for the causal agent, disease epidemiology, possible vectors, physiological and anatomical effects on diseased palms, susceptibility of coconut cultivars to the disease and socio economic effects and development of resistant coconut cultivars to the disease. The initial symptom of flaccidity of leaflets is followed by yellowing and drying of leaf margins. Occasional necrosis of rachilla in unopened inflorescences and root tips are observed. The disease which is not fatal, but debilitating reduces the yield by over 40% in the advanced stage. The palms weakened by WCLWD are often prone to leaf rot disease caused by a complex of fungi. Proutista moesta, Proutista sp. and Stephanitis typica were identified as putative vectors of WCLWD. The disease causes significant reduction in number of leaves, stomatal conductance, transpiration, photosynthesis, chlorophyll content of leaves, inflorescence size and number of female flowers. The Sri Lankan Green Dwarf variety (SLGD) showed over 95% tolerance/ resistance to WCLWD. Hence a breeding programme was initiated to develop cultivars resistant/tolerant to WCLWD using SLGD as a parent. In 2007, nearly 340,000 disease palms have been reported over an area of 22,935ha in the three districts of the Southern Province. Disease management strategies were designed considering the incurable and slow spreading nature of the disease and practical, economic and social aspects. Hence, the aim was mainly to reduce the disease incidence in the affected areas and preventing the spread to other areas of the country. In the initial phase, from 2008-2010 removal of severely diseased palms, treatment of leaf rot affected palms with fungicides and adopting best agronomic practices for mild-moderately affected palms were recommended. To prevent spread of the disease to other areas a boundary zone of 3km wide was demarcated around and just outside the diseased area, which is 86km long. Removal of all diseased palms in the boundary by continuous monitoring, implementation of quarantine measures to prohibit transport of palm species out of disease area and production of coconut seedlings in affected areas were stopped to prevent spread of the disease. A review made in 2010 revealed that although no disease incidences were reported outside the diseased area the incidence and severity of the disease was increasing in affected areas despite the above-mentioned actions taken. Hence, a stringent management strategy was implemented from 2011 by removing all diseased palms irrespective of the disease severity. Up to end 2018 a total of 297,464 and 10,485 diseased palms have been removed in the diseased area and boundary zone respectively. A lesser number of palms were removed in the subsequent round of checking palms indicating removal of diseased palms reduces further disease incidences, except in the Hambantota district. Extensive awareness campaigns and involvement of local government officials have contributed in getting the support of coconut growers. Currently, the disease incidence has reduced to a low level and no incidences have been reported outside the diseased area pointing the success of the directions taken in the 10-year long disease management programme. The experience showed that WCLWD cannot be controlled in a shorter period and the current management strategies have a temporary effect. It is essential that management measures should be continued stringently for a longer period until a long-lasting measure is established. A mini seed garden has been established in the Weligama area to produce disease resistant coconut plants for the replanting programme to uplift and sustain the coconut industry in the Southern province.

Edna A Anit, PhD

Dr. Edna A. Anit completed her Doctoral Degree in Horticulture major in Seed Physiology/Botany and Master of Science in Horticulture major in Crop Seed Physiology/Plant Pathology at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

She worked with DOST-PCAARRD since 1987 and served as a Commodity Specialist/ Industry Strategic Program Manager for Coconut and Banana at the Crops Research Division.

Her expertise includes crop production management and research management on major horticultural commodities. She has participated in numerous international conferences and trainings such as International Training Workshop in Biase, Guangxi China; Applied Communication Expert in PCAARRD-RDA Collaborative Program in Korea; Country Representative in Banana Asia Pacific Network Meetings in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Taiwan; International Conference on Coconut Tissue Culture in Bangkok, Thailand; and International Symposium on Coconut Research and Development in Kerala, India among others and has written/co-authored published and unpublished technical papers.

She currently holds various positions in scientific organizations/societies such as Crops Science Society of the Philippines (President), Federation of Plant Science Associations of the Philippines (Vice-President), and DOST-PCAARRD Graduate Alumni Association (Auditor) to name a few.

Major Publications

R.V. EBORA, E.A. ANIT & K.J.B. PANALIGAN. 2019. Status Report on Fusarium Wilt Infecting Cavendish Banana. Paper presented during the BAPNET Steering Committee Meeting Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. May 7– 9, 2019

E.A. ANIT, R. V. EBORA, & C.A. CUETO, 2018. Coconut Somatic Embryogenesis Technology: Progress in The Philippines. Paper presented during the 11th PAPTCB Scientific Convention at Dauis, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines. July 9-14, 2018

E. A. ANIT & C. A. CUETO. 2017. Status of Coconut Tissue Culture in the Philippines. Paper presented during the 1st International Symposium on Coconut Tissue Culture at Ambassador Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand. March 13-14, 2017

E. A. ANIT, R. V. EBORA, & J. E. EUSEBIO. 2016. Role of PCAARRD in Strengthening Plant Tissue Culture Program. Paper presented during the 10th Scientific Convention of Philippine Association for Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology Incorporated at Plaza del Norte and Convention Center, City of Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. September 19-24, 2016

E-mail: ednaanit56@yahoo.com


Philippine Coconut Industry Strategic S & T Program

“Reinvigorating the Productivity of the Tree of Life”

Edna A. Anit, PhD

ISP Manager in Coconut, DOST-PCAARRD, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines

Coconut is considered as the Philippines’ top agricultural export, with US$1.8B generated revenue in 2017. It is planted in 68 provinces covering 26% of the country’s agricultural land. The coconut industry is the source of income of 3.5M farmers, providing important economic support to the rural communities. However, low productivity (46 nuts/palm/year) caused by old and senile palms is one of the challenges facing the industry. In addition, a significant number of damaged palms require immediate replanting due to the devastation of strong typhoons and coconut scale infestation in some parts of the country. The country is struggling to meet the increasing demand for coconut raw materials and high value products due to various factors affecting coconut production. The Coconut S&T Program of DOST-PCAARRD which aims to increase productivity (from 46 to 150 nuts/tree/year), increase farmers’ income and reduce pest infestation focuses on the improvement of production of coconut high value products, rapid production of quality planting materials using high yielding coconut varieties/hybrids, genomic-assisted breeding, and management control strategies against insect pests and diseases. From the previously developed hybrids/varieties by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), best cultivars were recommended for commercial sap sugar and virgin coconut oil (VCO) production. Four (4) hybrids (PCA 15-2, PCA 15-1, PCA 15-3, and PB 121) and 2 dwarf varieties (CATD and MRD) were recommended for coconut sugar production with high toddy yield and sap sugar production. Moreover, 5 hybrids (PCA 15-8, Syn Var, PCA 15-9, PCA 15-3, and PCA 15-2), 5 tall varieties (BAYT, SNRT, TAGT, BAOT, LAGT) and 1 dwarf variety with 5-7 L/palm oil yield were recommended for VCO production. To address the current problem on the availability of quality planting materials, DOST- PCAARRD together with its partners have identified varieties that are responsive to coconut somatic embryogenesis technology (CSet). Using the enhanced PCA-ARC CSet protocol, more than 106,675 plumules were excised and initiated for callus and somatic embryo formation. To date, a total of 3,428 regenerants are being maintained by the seven upgraded/equipped laboratories (PCA-ARC, PCA-ZRC, UPLB (2 laboratories), UPMin, BUCAF, and VSU). Genomic studies were undertaken towards genetic and varietal improvement of selected coconut varieties. Among the assembled genome and transcriptome sequences, two (2) varieties - Laguna Tall (LAGT) and Catigan Green Dwarf (CATD) are already deposited at the National Center for Biotechnology Center (NCBI). Several gene markers were designed for high yield and quality copra-oil and by-products, and insect resistance. On the management of major pests for coconut, protocols for both coconut scale insects (CSI) and Brontispa sp. have been developed which include establishment of indoor and outdoor mass rearing facilities for predators/parasitoids; optimized mass production and field release protocols of CSI biological control agents; and, improved four (4) laboratories for mass production of biological control agents against CSI. Such strategies are now being implemented to control the recent CSI outbreak in Zamboanga which shows tremendous improvement as associated with the high parasitization of Comperiella calauanica on the infested coconut trees.

Dr. KSMS Raghavarao

Recently he has taken over as the Director of CSIR-CFTRI and putting his best efforts to rise the institute to higher levels of performance. Dr. Raghavarao is basically a Chemical Engineer specialized in Food Engineering and Biotechnology. He obtained B.Tech from Andhra University (1981) and direct Ph.D. from ICT, Mumbai (formerly UDCT) in 1987. After post-doctoral at NIST-Colorado and a brief stay at NIT, Warangal, he joined CFTRI in 1990 and continuing till date. Dr. Raghavarao has over 25 years of experience with right combination of Applied and Basic research. Out of 30 significant achievements, 25 were converted into processes/technologies, out of which 15 were transferred to Industry. Phycocyanin from Spirulina is second highest technology premium at CFTRI. Whole coconut milk powder transferred to 4 industries. Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) technology transferred to about 60 industries. Dr. Raghavarao has guided 20 students/fellow scientists for Ph.D. in Food Engineering/ Biotechnology and currently guiding 5 at the moment. He has been recipient of prestigious NASI-Reliance and VASVIK awards for applied research. He has received 2 out of 4 prestigious National Fellowships of Academies (FNAE & FASc, Bangalore) besides several others (FNAAS, FAFST, FAPASc, FIE). He has received National Award for technology transfer by Ministry of Agriculture for Virgin Coconut Oil technology. He has over 160 publications (with ‘h’ index of 45) and citations over 6500, about 28 International patents and 55 Indian patents. He initiated several new research areas at CFTRI such as Aqueous Two Phase Extraction, Reverse Micellar Extraction, Adsorption, Bioreactor design for Hairy root and plant cell cultures, viscous fermentation (microbial polysaccharides), and for solid state fermentation besides food processing equipment especially for Indian Traditional Foods athermal membrane processes like direct osmosis and osmotic membrane distillation. He collaborated with several technology departments across CFTRI and outside institutions as PI/Co-PI in 50 grant-in-aid projects and 25 Industrially sponsored projects.


Innovative Technologies for Coconut Processing

Archana G. Lamdande# and KSMS Raghavarao*
Department of Food Engineering
CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore, India
Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research, New Delhi, India

India is the third largest coconut growing nation in the world. In order to develop the products from coconut and to improve the economy of this sector, Coconut Development Board is extending financial assistance for research projects to Central Food Technological Research Institutes (CFTRI) for developing technologies. With the financial support of Coconut Development Board, CFTRI has developed the processes for production of coconut milk powder, coconut dietary fiber, virgin coconut oil, coconut protein powder and many more. There is an ever-increasing scope for producing diversified products from the by-products of coconut industry. Such products will ensure better prize for the farmer, better products to consumer and more effective cost of production to the industry, introduction and adoption of modern technologies in coconut processing sector to provide technical impetus for transformation of traditional coconut dependent rural economy into a vibrant commercially viable economy, development of technologies/ process for consumer based products from by-products in coconut processing in order to increase the consumption of coconut and exploitation of by-products in coconut processing for production of value added, shelf-stable, convenient products are the major objectives of the research and development works. In this presentation, the highlights of R&D work carried out at CFTRI in this regard with latest developments are presented. A process for the production of tender coconut beverage (Coconut lassi) and mature coconut-water concentrate (Coconut honey) has been developed. A process for the production of coconut spread based on mature coconut-water concentrate and coconut dietary fiber has been developed and patented. Efforts are made to develop the dry mixes. Innovative approaches such as differential partitioning studies of coconut whey proteins using aqueous two-phase extraction have been conducted. Even efficient option of ultrafiltration in combination with spray drying was employed as a method of preparation of coconut whey protein powder. Formulations are prepared for coconut chutney powder. Considerable demand is there for the fractionation of coconut oil/VCO especially for separation of medium chain Triglycerides (MCTs). Innovative methods such as supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) and fractional crystallization will be very handy in this regard.

Dr. V Niral

Dr V Niral obtained her Ph.D from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi and her major field of specialization is agriculture: Genetics. She is the recipient of the ICAR Award for outstanding interdisciplinary team research in agriculture and allied sciences for the Biennium 1999-2000 for significant contribution in improvement of coconut germplasm. She is the nodal officer of the field gene bank at ICAR-CPCRI and curator of the International Coconut Gene Bank for South Asia and Middle East, one of the five multi-site international genebanks under the Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT). She has more than 23 years of research experience on Genetic Resources Management. She has contributed to the enrichment of the gene bank with trait specific as well as indigenous coconut germplasm from Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Assam, Meghalaya, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu. She has contributed to the development of Coconut descriptors of germplasm conserved at ICAR-CPCRI & Catalogue of World Conserved Coconut Germplasm. She has registered seven trait-specific germplasm with ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi, She has been instrumental in developing many new hybrid combinations, utilizing the available genetic resources for varietal development, and has established new Dwarf x Dwarf and Dwarf x Tall hybrid evaluation trials and also a comparative evaluation trial of diverse dwarf lines. She has contributed to the development and release of 16 improved coconut varieties for different agro-ecological zones and end uses, including dwarf tender nut varieties as well as hybrids and has obtained IP registration under PPVFRA for four of the varieties. She is involved in the production of planting material, including breeder seed production, of released varieties and parental lines to facilitate establishment of seed gardens. She has contributed to development of DUS test guidelines and is the nodal officer of the DUS Centre for coconut under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority, New Delhi.

Major Five Publications

She has published about 180 technical articles, including about 40 peer reviewed research papers, edited four books and contributed many book chapters.

• Niral, V. and Jerard, B. A. 2018. Botany, Origin and Genetic Resources of Coconut. In: The Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera L.)-Research and Development Perspectives, K. U. K. Nampoothiri, V. Krishnakumar, P. K. Thampan, M. Achuthan Nair (Eds.), Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2754-4, pp. 57-111.

• Chowdappa P., Niral V., Jerard B.A. and Samsudeen K. (Eds.). 2017. Coconut. Daya Publishing House, A Division of Astral International Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, India. 440p

• Niral, V., K. Devakumar, TS. Umamaheswari, S. Naganeeswaran, RV. Nair and B. A. Jerard, 2013, Morphological and molecular characterization of a large fruited unique coconut accession from Vaibhavwadi, Maharashtra, India. Indian Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding, 73(2): 220-224.

• Niral, V., Jerard, B. A., Kavitha, K.V., Samsudeen, K. and Nair, R.V, 2008, Variability and association among floral traits and pollen recovery in coconut (Cocos nucifera L.). Journal of Plantation. Crops, 36 (3): 186-191

• Ratnamabal, M.J., Niral, V., Krishnan, M. and Ravi Kumar, N. (2000). Coconut descriptors, Part II, C.P.C.R.I., Kasaragod, Kerala, India.

Email: niral.v@icar.gov.in



V. Niral
Principal Scientist (Genetics)
ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute,
P.O. Kudlu, Kasaragod 671 124 India
E mail: niral.v@icar.gov.in; niralv@yahoo.com

Coconut, Cocos nucifera L., a monoecious perennial monocotyledon, is a monospecific genus placed in Arecaceae family (formerly Palmaceae) and the sub family Cocoideae. It is an ancient species with no known wild relatives and has a long history of domestication and cultivation and hence considered as a semi-domesticated species. In spite of the evolutionary bottleneck, the present day population of this palm presents a range of variability with several distinct populations and ecotypes, widely differing from each other in morphological characters, particularly fruit characters and plant habit. Coconut palms are commonly categorized into two groups - Talls and Dwarfs, on the basis of a few important characters like stature, growth characteristics, precocious nature of flowering, fruit and copra characters. Natural introgression between divergent ecotypes has resulted in the emergence of intermediate types, both with and without human intervention. Further, certain variants, like seedless coconut or male coconut tree, spikeless coconut or spicata and unique types with sweet endosperm, soft endosperm, buttery endosperm (Makapuno), edible husk, pink husk, aroma, horned fruits etc are also reported from different coconut producing countries. Plant genetic resources are an essential prerequisite for undertaking any crop improvement programme. Variability within the germplasm pool is the basis for selection and hybridization for bringing about improvement in the targeted traits, reduction of vulnerability to various biotic/abiotic factors, meeting challenges emerging from climate change threats as well as changing consumer demand and market driven product diversification. Considering the global loss of agricultural land due to pressure from rising human population, industrialization as well as the threat of erosion and loss of island territories as well as coastal tracts to rising sea levels, there is an ever increasing loss of native biodiversity leading to genetic erosion. This is more so in crops like coconut that are predominantly cultivated in the humid coastal tropics. India has been in the forefront of coconut genetic resources conservation and was the first country in the world to take up systematic breeding programme and exploitation of hybrid vigour in coconut. The conserved germplasm has been utilized for coconut improvement research and development of improved varieties for cultivation in various agro-ecological zones of the country and for specific purpose viz., copra, tender nut, inflorescence sap, biotic and abiotic stress tolerance and ornamental purpose. Presently, ICAR-CPCRI has the world's largest collection of coconut germplasm with 455 accessions from 28 countries, representing germplasm of South and South East Asia, Africa, Caribbean Islands, Indian Ocean Islands and Pacific Ocean Islands. ICAR-CPCRI hosts the International Coconut Gene bank (ICG) for South Asia, one among the five ICGs located in different coconut growing regions (South East Asia, South Asia, Africa, South America and Pacific). ICG for South Asia presently conserves 49 designated Indian germplasm, accessions from member countries of the region, viz. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, as well as germplasm collected from the Indian Ocean Islands of Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Maldives, Comoros and Reunion. The ICGs are mandated to facilitate conservation, characterization as well as exchange of coconut genetic resources for crop improvement research and meeting challenges of food security and nutrition among mankind. The conserved germplasm are characterized using morphological descriptors as well as molecular markers to develop list of donor parents and identify diverse lines for better exploitation of heterosis and enabling better utilization of genetic resources by researchers and facilitate trait-specific improvement programme as well as development of improved varieties. Coconut Descriptors have been developed at ICAR-CPCRI, in addition to the development of the World Catalogue of Conserved Coconut Germplasm and Catalogue of farmers varieties brought out by COGENT/Bioversity International. With the focus of enabling higher productivity for farmers, prime importance has been given for developing high yielding varieties suitable for different agro-ecological zones, in order to meet the pressures of the increasing consumer demand. The long generation cycle, the cross-pollinating breeding behavior of tall coconuts, the lack of a viable vegetative propagation method, the low number of seeds produced per palm, and the massive stature of the palm are the most important constraints in coconut breeding. Due to these limitations, genetic improvement in coconuts has been limited to mass selection and hybridization mainly between tall and dwarf coconuts. However, sustained efforts by breeders have led to development of improved varieties in the country (50 varieties, including 20 hybrid varieties), leading to a spurt in production and productivity levels. With the major targets of productivity increase being met, focus is now being shifted to other objectives, viz. quality parameters, biotic/abiotic stress tolerance and climate resilience. Increasing emphasis is being placed on screening germplasm for inflorescence sap yield, endosperm milk yield as well as Virgin Coconut Oil recovery to enable value addition and development of improved varieties for higher yield and different end uses.

Dr. K B Hebbar

Dr K B Hebbar obtained his B.Sc. (Agriculture) degree and Master’s degree in Plant Physiology from University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore. He then worked for his Doctorate program (1990-94) at Water Technology Centre, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi on ‘Signal Transduction in plants’. Dr Hebbar joined as Scientist at Central Institute for Cotton research, Nagpur in 1995. As a physiologist he worked on drought, salinity and flooding tolerance of cotton plants and identified tolerant lines and the traits imparting tolerance to these stresses. He also developed a cotton simulation model Infocrop for the simulation of growth and production of cotton. In 2007, he got selected as Principal Scientist at Indian Institute of Soil Science. He has been awarded Borlaug Fellow for the year 2010 under climate change by United States Department of Agriculture. In 2010 he joined as Head Plant Physiology, Biochemistry and Post-Harvest Technology at ICAR-CPCRI, Kasaragod. In coconut to his credit he has developed a simple technology ‘coco-sap chiller’ for the collection of hygienic and unfermented coconut sap (neera) from the coconut spadix. From this sap protocols have been perfected for the production of various primary and secondary line value added products. The technology has been already implemented in states of Kerala, Goa and West Bengal for the collection and sale of fresh neera as health drink and in Tamil Nadu for the production of value added products. During his tenure number of coconut value added products have been developed and commercialised.

Major Five Publications

Hebbar, K.B., Pandiselvam, R., Manikantan, M.R., M. Arivalagan, Shameena Beegum, P. Chowdappa. 2018. Palm Sap—Quality Profiles, Fermentation Chemistry, and Preservation Methods. Sugar Tech (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12355-018-0597-z

Hebbar, K. B. ; Arivalagan, M. ; ManiKantan, M. R. ; Mathew, A. C. ; Thamban, C. ; Thomas, George V. ; Chowdappa, P. 2015. Coconut inflorescence sap and its value addition as sugar – collection techniques, yield, properties and market perspective. Current Science, doi: 10.18520/v109/i8/1411-1417

Arivalagan M, Rakesh B, Sugatha P, Poonam S, K.B. Hebbar, Santosh R. K. 2016. Biochemical and nutritional characterization of coconut (Cocos uciferaL.) haustorium. Food chemistry, 238: 153-159. DOI- 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.10.127.

K.B. Hebbar, Helan M. Rose, Anusree R. Nair, S. Kannan, V. Niral, M. Arivalagan, Alka Gupta, K. Samsudeen, K.P. Chandran, P. Chowdappa, P.V. Vara Prasad. Differences in in vitro pollen germination and pollen tube growth of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) cultivars in response to high temperature stress. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 153-35-44 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envexpbot.2018.04.014

Arivalagan M., Roy T.K., Yasmeen A.M., Pavithra K.C., Jwala P.N., Shivasankara K.S., Manikantan M.R., Hebbar K.B., Kanade S.R. (2018). Extraction of phenolic compounds with antioxidant potential from coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) testa and identification of phenolic acids and flavonoids using UPLC coupled with TQD-MS/MS. Food Science & Technology- Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft & Tech, 92: 116–126.

Email: hebbar.kb@icar.gov.in


Novel Products of ICAR-CPCRI to Turn Coconut Farmer into an Entrepreneur

K.B.Hebbar, A.C.Mathew, M.R.Manikantan, B. Shameena, Pandi Selvam
Plant Physiology, Biochemistry & Post Harvest Technology
ICAR-CPCRI Kasaragod
Email: balakbh64@gmail.com

The coconut farmers of Kerala have been struggling to cope up with unstable prices and rising labour costs. Of late it has been realized that product diversification of farm produce into high-value products with better price realization for farmers through competitive markets, value chains and improved linkage between field and fork could increase the farmers income. All at a sudden there is interest in coconut plantation and coconut based products. The recent innovations and the value chains developed in coconut at ICAR-CPCRI can transform the farmers into entrepreneurs and can easily double the income. Coconut palm, widely acclaimed as Kalpavriksha or Tree of Heaven or Wonder tree where each and every part is useful. Based on the raw material used, the major products can be categorised as sap based, tender nut water based, meat/ kernel based, husk based, shell based and leaf craft based products. Though coconut value addition is at its nascent stage, the recent innovations and the value chains developed in coconut can transform the farmers into entrepreneurs and can easily enhance the income. ICAR- Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) Kasaragod developed various value added products adoption of it as a cottage or small scale industries created demand both in domestic and international markets so as to get better price for the produce and improve the livelihood of the farmers. In that context, the Kalparasa (neera) a hygienic and unfermented sap from the coconut spadix collected by the coco-sap chiller and its amenability to develop various value added products like coconut sugar, jaggary,nectar or syrup has evinced keen interest in entrepreneurs and coconut farmers for its collection and marketing. Virgin coconut oil and coconut chips are other products attracting the attention of consumers. From the byproducts natural extruded products are prepared which are far superior in quality compared to the commercially available products. Here we explain in brief the process of sap, tender nut water and meat/ kernel based preparation of consumable products, their nutritive value, use and cost and returns by their adoption are discussed. These products evinced interest not only in coconut farmers but also in marketing personel, traders, policy makers, doctors and all those health conscious people.

R Ramakumar

R Ramakumar is an economist by training and is currently NABARD Chair Professor at the School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. His areas of interest include agrarian studies, agricultural economics, rural banking and micro-credit, public finance and national identity schemes. From September 2016, he has also been serving as a non-ministerial member with the Kerala State Planning Board.

Major Publications

Note-Bandi: Demonetisation and India's Elusive Chase for Black Money, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2018.

"Selecting a 'village' in the Malabar region, Kerala: A Note", Review of Agrarian Studies, 8 (1), 2018.

"Moving Out of Cotton: Notes from a Longitudinal Survey in Two Vidarbha Villages" (with Karan Raut and Tushar Kamble), Review of Agrarian Studies, 6 (3), 2016.

"Economic Rationale of ‘Demonetisation’: Scrutiny of the Government’s Claims" (with Vineet Kohli), Economic and Political Weekly, 51 (53), December 2016.

“Public Action, Agrarian Change and the Standard of Living of Agricultural Workers: A Study of a Village in Kerala”, Journal of Agrarian Change, 6 (3), 2006, pp. 306-345.

“Why do the States not spend? An Exploration of the Phenomenon of Cash Surpluses and the FRBM Legislation” (with T. M. Thomas Isaac), Economic and Political Weekly, 41 (48), December 2, 2006, pp. 4965-4976.

E-mail: rr@tiss.edu


Will be update soon

Ajit Mathai

Ajit is a Management Consultant with 30+ years of experience in work experience. He has advised clients on Sector Revival Plans, Project Management practices, technology implementation, organic farming and agriculture technology. He has worked in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nigeria. Ajit has also extensively worked in Kerala – he has worked with the Kerala State Planning Board; Ministry of Finance & Coir, Govt. of Kerala; State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD), Kerala; Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd. (KMML); Modernisation of Government Programme (MGP) and the Department of Tourism, Govt. of Kerala. He has assisted the Government of Kerala in developing a techno-economic study of Coir in Kerala, along with assistance in developing the proposed Coir Five Year plan in Kerala. He is currently implementing a technology solution for coconuts and coir in Kerala. Ajit is also a natural fibre expert – having worked with the Jute Corporation of India, National Jute Board and the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. He is an academic speaker and a Certified Trainer for LOTS® Visioning & Strategy Articulation. He heads the HR committee of the AMCHAM (American Chamber of Commerce), Chennai, and is a Member of the Educational Sub-committee of CII, Southern Chapter. Ajit is a keen organic farmer, tennis player, swimmer, practices Tai Chi and an ornithologist.


The paper aims to provide an aggregation led model for revival of the Coir sector in Kerala. This entails (1) enabling aggregation of homestead produce and services; (2) creating economically viable decentralized defibering MSMEs as a bridge between the homesteads and the industrial Coir sector; (3) extending professional shared services for the MSMEs and (4) ensuring scalability through implementation on a technology platform. The model has been demonstrated through a pilot study with Coconut producers and Coir defibering unit and is supported by secondary research. The study finds that distributed Coir fiber extraction units can be economically viable when (a) supported with steady and adequate supply of husk aggregated from the homesteads (b) provided adequate market linkage for its products and by-products and (c) operated professionally with maintenance, market linkage and working capital management shared services. The paper establishes the importance of the decentralized Coir defibering MSMEs through an economic viability analysis of the homestead which integrates with the Coir product sector.

Prof. Dr. Rakesh Kumar Sharma

Prof. Dr. Rakesh Kumar Sharma did his M. Pharm in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Panjab University, Chandigarh. He did Two years PG Diploma in Business Management from Punjabi University, Patiala. He holds his Ph.D in Chemistry from University of Delhi.

He is Elected Fellow of Association of Food Scientists and Technologists (India), Indian College of Nuclear Medicine, Society of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Indian Association of Biomedical Scientists and Institution of Chemists (India).

He has total Academic and Professional Experience for 36 years and retired as Director, Defence Food Research Laboratory, DRDO, Mysore, Karnataka. Dr Sharma holds appointment of Adjunct Professor of Jamia Hamdard in the Department of Pharmacognosy & Phytochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Honorary Professor in Food Processing and Preservation, Avinashilingam University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.While working in DRDO, Dr. Sharma has made significant contributions in CBRN defence, development of New Drugs, Novel Drugs Delivery Systems, Herbal Radioprotectors, Herbal Biothre at Mitigators, and Nutraceuticals. He has guided 12 students for the award of Ph.D.

Dr Sharma has acclaimed eight National and five International Awards. He is a member of Expert /Core Groups of many ministries of Government of India.

Dr. Sharma has filed 24 patents and published 341 papers besides contributing 54 chapters in books and editing 14 books.

Major Five Publications

1) Navneet Sharma, Mamta Chaudhary, Bhupendra Singh Butola, Joseph Kingston Jeyabalaji, Dharm Pal Pathak, Rakesh Kumar Sharma(2019). Preparation, characterization and evaluation of the Zinc titanate and Silver nitrate incorporated wipes for topical chemical and biological decontamination. Materials Science and Engineering:C .96, 183-196.https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2018.10.056 (Impact Factor 5.08).

2) Navneet Sharma, Rita Kakkar, Prerna Bansal, Anju Singh, Himanshu Ojha, DharamPal Pathak and Rakesh Kumar Sharma (2019). Host–guest complexation studies of p-tertbutylcalix[4]areneagainst ions of interest for radiological decontamination.  Inorganica Chimica Acta. 484, 111-124.doi.org/10.1016/j.ica.2018.09.007 (Impact Factor: 2.264)

3) Rahul Dhande, Amit Kumar, Rakesh Sharma and Hetal Thakkar (2018). 99mTc-Vinorelbine tartrate loaded Spherulites: Lung disposition study in Sprague-Dawley rats by Gamma Scintigraphy. Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 49,36-45 ( I.F-2.406)

4) Arpita Patel, Amit Tyagi, Rakesh Kumar Sharma, Hetal Parekh Thakkar (2018). Formulation of 99mTechnetium-labeled Leuprolide loaded liposomes and its Biodistribution study in New Zealand white female rabbits for assessment of its uterine targeting efficiency. Drug Deliv. and Transl. Res.8(1):43-53 https://doi/org/10.1007/s13346-017-0432-1 (I.F. = 3.395)

5) D. Uma Maheswari, Anand Tamatam,T. Mohan Manu, Farhath Khanum, Rakesh Kumar Sharma (2019). Motion sickness induced physiological and neuronal changes in mouse model. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research 10 (4), 1650-1659.

E-mail: vicechancellor@saveetha.com rksharmadrl@yahoo.com


Technological Innovations in Food Processing for creation of value added Coconut Products

Consumers demand for high quality foods that are fresh tasting and nutritious have created considerable interest in the development of new food-processing techniques. Consumers are also increasingly becoming aware of nutritional security and about the food safety. Food processing is food preservation, which involves maintaining the high quality properties of the food as long as possible. R&D effort by DFRL has helped in developing technologies to extend the shelf-life of a variety of traditional food products of Indian dietary matching the main frame palate/taste of India. Some of these simple technologies could be easily taken up by small and medium scale industries. India is the largest producer of coconuts. Coconut’s endosperm contains a large quantity of clear liquid, called ‘coconut water’. The water of tender coconut (TCW) is a sterile, nutritious and a thirst quenching natural health drink with gentle taste & flavor. It is rich in potassium and other minerals. After harvesting, the quality of tender coconut water in nuts is found to undergo deterioration after 72 h. The bulkiness of coconuts adds transportation cost. Developments in non-thermal technologies have been advanced by DFRL in an attempt to meet the challenge of producing safe processed food of a high quality. These techniques have been adopted for liquid products like coconut sap, tender coconut water and mature coconut water to achieve sterility with extended shelf life. DFRL, Mysore, in collaboration with the Coconut Development Board (CDB), Ministry of Agriculture, Kochi, has developed innovative state-of-the-art technology to preserve and stabilise TCW in flexible polymeric pouches and aluminum cans. The use of mild heat (Pasteurization) treatment and a bio-preservative are keys to the promising technology that is ideal for domestic as well as export markets. CDB can play a big role in opening up technology transfer mechanisms for foreign vendors.A diverse range of other food products has been prepared from coconut that satisfy the human nutritional and health requirements. Tender coconut water has been blended with different fruit pulps, i.e., lemon, mango, pineapple, blue grapes, apple, pomegranate, etc., to increase the palatability as plain tender coconut water has bland taste. Other value added products developed from coconut includes Beverage, Yoghurt, Jam, Jelly, Chips, Spread, Milk, Spray dried coconut milk powder, Coconut cream, Copra, Neera, Coconut chutney, Dehydrated coconut chutney, Nata-de-coco, Vinegar, Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and VCO meal based products, etc. This presentation will give a holistic view point about the concept of Value-addition in different segments of food industry and the gradual shift from traditional technologies to novel modern technologies used for coconut product’s quality enhancement and their future potential.

Dr. Thamban. C

Dr. Thamban. C is currently working as Principal Scientist (Agrl. Extension) at ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod. He has 22 years of experience in research as scientist in ICAR and six years of experience as Agricultural Officer in State Department of Agriculture. Completed B.Sc. (Agri.) and M.Sc.(Agri.) degree in Agricultural Extension from Kerala Agricultural University and has Ph.D. in Agricultural Extension from Annamalai University. So far he has completed 28 research projects mostly related to multidimensional analysis of technology generation, technology transfer and technology utilisation in coconut based farming systems. Besides, he has formulated and implemented various farmer participatory technology transfer initiatives for sustainable development of coconut sector as part of front line extension activities of CPCRI in collaboration with other stakeholders including State Department of Agriculture, Coconut Development Board and Farmer Producer Organisations. Innovation system analysis framework was employed to study the field level utilization of microirrigation technology by coconut growers, with special emphasis on factors associated with discontinuance of technology. Has employed value chain concept in the implementation of technological interventions to enhance efficiency of the production to consumption system in coconut and facilitated formation of CBOs. He has also undertaken many action research projects on farmer participatory group approaches and also on technology assessment and refinement for improving technology utilization to enhance productivity and income from coconut farming. He has more than 250 publications to his credit including 35 research articles.


Income enhancement from coconut farming: Status and Strategies

Coconut is predominantly a small holder’s crop in India, especially in states like Kerala, and there are serious concerns about the economic viability of farming in the fragmented coconut holdings. Under the evolving trade liberalization regime it is extremely challenging to sustain the coconut farming in Kerala as a profitable enterprise. A comprehensive rejuvenation programme to replace the old, senile and unproductive palms with quality seedlings of improved varieties in a farmer participatory mode is inevitable for the revitalization of coconut sector in the State. Policies for income enhancement in coconut sector should focus more on competitiveness through higher productivity. One way to achieve this goal is through increasing the net returns from coconut. The coconut based cropping/farming system models have conclusively proved that the scientifically designed coconut based cropping/farming system is capable of generating higher income compared to monocropping for small-holders. Promoting adoption of proven technologies such as on farm recycling of biomass including coconut leaves through vermicomposting, basin management with leguminous green manure plants, drip fertigation etc. would considerably reduce the production cost. It is also needed to enhance the resource use efficiency of the coconut tracts, and it warrants effective implementation of site specific resource management interventions based on the soil health and water availability status. Effective implementation of farmer participatory interventions for integrated pest and disease management in coconut gardens to prevent crop loss also would enhance the net efficiency of the system. To augment the productivity and income from small and marginal coconut holdings through better technology integration it is suggested to have group management of resources as an institutional mechanism, which helps to overcome the inherent weaknesses of fragmented holdings. In the existing scenario of increasing absentee landlordism and withdrawal of farmers from active coconut farming, the group approaches assume paramount importance. The group synergy could be effectively blended in each node of the value chain for restructuring the existing ‘buyer driven’ coconut value chain into a ‘producer driven’ one. The existing farmer producer organizations in coconut sector facilitated by different agencies are to be revitalized for the effective implementation of group initiatives. As an important strategy for enhancing income from coconut farming, the processing and value addition in the coconut sector has to be scaled up manifold. Effective monitoring and management of value chain system with appropriate horizontal and vertical linkages along with price support would play a crucial role in transforming coconut farming into a sustainable and remunerative enterprise.

Dr Jacob John

Dr Jacob John is the Principal Investigator of the All India Coordinated Research Project of the ICAR in Kerala and Project Coordinator in KAU of the project coordination group on “Farming System Research”. He is a State level resource person on integrated farming.

He has received 3 International, 4 National and 9 State level awards and conferred Fellow of the Indian Society of Plantation Crops for his outstanding research contribution in plantation crops.

He has prepared the background reports for agroecological zone based agricultural development for all districts of Kerala which have been published by the Kerala State Planning Board, Government of Kerala.

Major Five Publications

He has authored 26 books, 17 book chapters, 3 Technical bulletins and 131 research publications besides several popular scientific articles.

1. Jacob, J. (2014). Homestead Farming in Kerala: A Multi-Faceted Land-Use System. Review of Agrarian Studies Vol (4): 1. available at http://www.ras.org.in/homestead_farming_in_kerala

2. Jacob, J., Rajasekharan, P., Rajasree, G. and Bindu, P. (2014). Cropping Systems in Kerala. State Planning Board, Kerala p.46

3. Jacob, J. and Joy, M. (2007). Integrated approach towards coconut based farming systems. In: Coconut for Rural Welfare (Eds.P.K.Thampan and K.I.Vasu) pp. 109-106, Indonesia: Asian and Pacific Coconut Community.

4. Jacob, J. (2010). Allelopathic effect of trees in the homesteads of Kerala, India. Lambert Academic Publishing, Saarbrücken, Germany. ISBN: 978-3-8383-8988-2

5. Jacob, J., Patil, R.H., Joy, M. and Nair, A.M. (2006). Methodology of Allelopathy Research: 1.Agroforestry Systems. Allelopathy Journal 18 (2): 173-214.

E-mail: jacob.john@kau.in


Coconut based farming in the homesteads of Kerala Coconut has the status of a plantation crop worldwide. Unlike several countries, where coconut is grown in large gardens, Kerala has a unique feature of presence of coconut based home gardens, which have evolved in response to the pressure of shrinking land resource base coupled with high population density. According to the Ninth Agricultural Census of Kerala, the average size of an operational holding was 0.22 ha in 2010-11. This was against 0.24 ha in 2000-01. Also, out of the total holdings, the size group below one ha (marginal farmers) accounts for 96.33 per cent of the total number of holdings and the average size of the group is 0.13 ha (Department of Economics and Statistics, 2013). It is for these populous marginal homestead farmers that intensive land use practices like multitier cropping and integrated farming are becoming increasingly important. An extensive study undertaken during 2010-13, in all the 23 agro ecological units (AEUs) spread across fourteen districts of Kerala, to identify the yield gap and present level of technology adoption in coconut in homesteads revealed that, among the AEUs, the yield gap (difference between average yield in the AEU and best farmer yield) varied from 30 nuts palm-1 year-1 (Southern high hills) to 162 nuts palm-1 year-1 (Wayanad central plateau). The extensive use of local varieties, failure to supply nutrients as per recommendations, widespread incidence of diseases and pests coupled with the low adoption of recommended plant protection measures were identified as the major reasons for the huge yield gap. The rejuvenation and replanting programme has focused on the removal of senile and severely diseased palms accompanied by replacement with high yielding varieties. While the objective has been mainly improvement in the productivity, increasing the total production and income from the coconut based homesteads is yet to be addressed. Hence, a viable strategy for enhancing on-farm income is to integrate coconut rejuvenation progamme with other income and employment generating activities. Coconut based cropping/farming systems, involving cultivation of compatible crops in the interspaces of coconut and integration with other enterprises like dairying offer considerable scope for increasing production and productivity per unit area, time and inputs by more efficient utilization of resources like sunlight, soil, water and labour. Since the land holdings of coconut farmers are very small, another approcach for enhancing on farm income is by promoting small scale coconut based enterprises. Successful coconut based integrated farming system models for marginal homesteads which can be scaled up have been developed by the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU). Success stories of selected coconut based homesteads being restructured into sustainable model farms through planned scientific interventions following a farmer participatory approach by KAU are also discussed in this paper. Such coconut based homesteads if scientifically managed will help to achieve the multiple objectives of promoting effective waste management, resource conservation, bioresource recycling and energy conservation, besides providing food, nutritional and livelihood security.

Dr. K.M. Nair

Projects carried out for Kerala State:

1. Consultancy Project: Detailed Land Resource Inventory for Precision Agriculture in Part of Palakkad District with Special Reference to Rice Cultivation (Project Leader).

2. Consultancy project: Agro-ecology of Kerala (Project Leader)

3. Collaborative project (Multi-institutional): Soil based plant nutrient management plan for agro-ecosystems of Kerala (Project leader).

4. Collaborative project (Multi-institutional): Enhancing the Economic Viability of Coconut Based Land Use Systems for Land Use Planning in Kerala State (Project leader).

Academic activities:

1. Postgraduate teaching and Research Supervisor for UAS, Bangalore.

Major fields of expertise : 1. Soil survey, soil classification and mapping

3. Land evaluation and land use planning

4. GIS and Remote Sensing applications

5. Agro-ecological analysis and mapping.

6. Soil fertility assessment

Publications (Research papers/scientific reports/Presentations/bulletins etc.): 300


Soil Related Constraints to Coconut Production in Kerala

Among the leading coconut producing states of India, Kerala ranks first both in area and production. Coconut and coconut based mixed cropping is the largest land use system in the state contributing about 20 per cent of total agricultural GDP. It is paradoxical that, in the land of coconut, the average yield of the palm is abysmally low (around 50 nuts per palm per year), just half of what is realised in the adjoining Tamil Nadu. Many reasons are attributed to the decline of palm in the state.

1. Large fluctuations in market price for coconut, consequent to trade liberalization and cheap imports of palm oil.

2. Shift in source of livelihood for the population, from agriculture to other sectors of economy and consequent neglect of the palm.

3. Widespread incidence of pests and diseases, many of them lacking effective control: leaf rot, root wilt, lethal yellowing, incidence of mites, leaf mining caterpillar, red palm weevil etc.

4. High cost and scarcity of labour and low level of mechanization.

However, we have evidences to believe that decline in soil qualities are primarily responsible for the low yield realisation. Analysis of variability of agro-climate, soil qualities, and palm health and productivity across the state enabled delineation of five distinct coconut-growing regions.

1. Central and eastern Palakkad plains: The region comprising Alathur, Chittur and Palakkad taluks are climatically constrained for the palm, but scores high on soil qualities. The soils do not present any serious constraints to coconut and consequently palms are healthy and productive. The low rainfall and drought spells, however, warrant irrigation for the palm.

2. Northern Kerala: The region is delineated to represent areas with high rainfall, but long dry period (around five to six months in a year), comprise northern half of Thrissur district and land area beyond in north direction, but excluding high ranges. Coconut in the region is constrained by long dry period, strong acid reaction of soil and mineral plant nutrient deficiencies.

3. Central Kerala: Land area of the state north of Thiruvananthapuram city to southern half of Thrissur district, excluding Western Ghats, constitutes the region. While the climate is conducive for the palm, the soils are severely constraining with very strong surface and subsoil acidity and acute deficiency of mineral nutrients, in particular secondary nutrients calcium and magnesium and micro-nutrient boron.

4. Southern Kerala: The land area of Kerala south of Thiruvananthapuram city has most conducive climate and soil qualities for coconut.

5. Coastal sandy plain (including Onattukara): The sandy soil terrain along the coastline constitutes the region. The climate is fairly good, but soils are very infertile.

Climatic constraints in the regions follow the order: Central and eastern Palakkad > Northern Kerala > Central Kerala > Coastal sandy plain > Southern Kerala and soil constraints follow the order: Coastal sandy soils > Central Kerala > Northern Kerala > Southern Kerala > Central and eastern Palakkad.

Soil related constraints in the low productive regions (Northern Kerala, Central Kerala and Coastal sandy plains) are

1. Strong acidification of surface and subsoils

2. Deficiencies of plant nutrients, mainly potassium, calcium, magnesium, boron and boron.

3. Toxicity of aluminium, particularlly in subsoil,

Surface and subsoil soil acidity can be alleviated by application of lime and gypsum and mineral nutrient deficiencies by external inputs of mineral fertilizers containing major, secondary and micro-nutrients.

In the context of reviving the fortune of coconut in the state malady of the palms in the central region, relative to northern region, merit particular attention. In the former coconut palms suffer from very low productivity and poor health; leaf rot, root wilt, lethal yellowing etc. The analysis of a large body of legacy and new data sets on soil qualities helped explain the differences in palm health in the central region compared to northern region. The following conclusions were drawn.

1. The common perception about tropical soils in their natural environment (forest) is that they are fertile, supporting large biomass. Our studies have revealed that in central Kerala even the forest soils are strongly acid and depleted of basic cations, particularly in subsoils. In difference, forest soils of northern region are only slightly acid and have adequate reserves of basic cations in surface and subsoils. Conversion of forests to crop production systems often result in loss of fertile top soil. The process resulted in exposure of very infertile subsoil in central region, providing impetus to the maladies of coconut palms therein. The relatively base rich subsoil in northern region ensured reasonable health of the palms despite the loss of fertile top soil.

2. Agricultural intensification of twentieth century (driven by population pressure) in the central region far exceeded the process in north. The food shortages in the former region lead to intercropping of coconut with a host of perennial and annual crops and thereby further depleting mineral nutrients from the relatively infertile soils. Coconut palm suffered severely in the process. The green revolution model of agricultural development focused on external inputs of mineral plant nutrients, but restricted to major nutrients N, P and K, was of little solace to the palm in the strongly acid, calcium, magnesium and boron deficient soils. In fact, the inputs further aggravated soil acidification and intensified deficiencies of the secondary and micro-nutrients.

The soil related constraints to coconut in the state, though severe and debilitating, can be easily overcome through a proper mix of soil amendments and external inputs of mineral plant nutrients and the cost of palm management can be brought down by subtle changes in the agronomy of the palm. Regaining the palm health and thereby ensuring satisfactory level of productivity and profitability of coconut based land use systems must be a primary goal for the state in agriculture development. Coconut based mixed cropping systems make better sense for the ecologically fragile state for ensuring bio-diversity and providing environ-mental, economic and social services.

James J. Nedumpara 

James J. Nedumpara has more than two decades of experience in the field of international economic law. Currently he is on leave from leave Jindal Global Law School to head the Centre for Trade and Investment Law (CTIL), a think tank and advisory centre established by the Government of India at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT). In this capacity he advises the Government on various aspects relating to international trade and investment law. James has several years of experience in the field of international trade and economic law and has worked with leading law firms, corporate firms and also UNCTAD's India programme before joining academia.  He was also part of the Indian delegation that appeared in the recent proceedings on India- Agricultural Products (Avian Influenza dispute) before the WTO Appellate Body.

James has taught courses in international trade law as a visiting faculty at FGV Law School, São Paolo, Brazil, ITAM Mexico City, UNSW Sydney, Australia, NLSIU, Bangalore, NUJS Kolkatta and the CWS-WTI Joint Summer Academy. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) Trivandrum. James has also served visiting fellowships in several leading law schools.

James received his Ph.D. in Law from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore and holds graduate degrees in Law from the University of Cambridge, UK, the New York University School of Law, USA and the National University of Singapore. He took his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala. James is a recipient of the Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship and has also served an internship at the Legal Affairs Division of the WTO.

James also played a key role in introducing a Legal Studies as a subject in the CBSE curriculum in India and was the Convener of the Group of Legal Studies. He is a Co-Chair of the South Asia International Economic Law Network (SAIELN) and an academic supervisor of the TradeLab project.


Will be update soon

Dr. Regi Jacob Thomas

Dr. Regi Jacob Thomas completed his B.Sc (Agriculture) from Kerala Agricultural University (Trichur), M.Sc (Horticulture) from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (Coimbatore) and Ph.D (Horticulture) from IARI, New Delhi. He also completed Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights from Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi. He was selected for Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) and completed a short course on ‘Integrated Seed Sector Development’ at Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands. He served as Scientist at ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (ICAR-CPCRI), Kasaragod, Kerala, during 1998-99. He was the Scientist-In-Charge of International Coconut Genebank for South Asia, Kidu, Karnataka during 1999-2000. Since October 2000, he is working at ICAR-CPCRI, Regional Station, Kayamkulam, Kerala and presently he is Principal Scientist (Horticulture). He has vast experience in breeding for resistance to root (wilt) disease of coconut, coconut germplasm characterization and production of quality coconut seedlings for the root (wilt) disease prevalent tracts. He was associated with development of resistant/tolerant coconut varieties, establishment of coconut pollen cryo-preservatory, decentralized hybrid seedling production and in vitro culture of coconut. He has published 34 research papers in peer reviewed journals, 50 popular articles, presented 42 papers in national and international conferences/symposia’s, written over 10 book chapters and edited two books. He was involved in the release of three coconut varieties for the root (wilt) disease prevalent tract and served as expert for National Horticultural Board and Coconut Development Board. His current area of research includes developing high yielding and root (wilt) disease resistant dwarf and hybrid varieties of coconut and identification of molecular markers associated with disease resistance.



*Regi J. Thomas, K. Samsudeen and M. Shareefa
ICAR-Central Plantation Crop Research Institute, Kasaragod- 671124, Kerala State

Coconut is an important crop for many tropical countries. Most of the coconut plantations in our country are old and senile. Hence, a strategy for replanting of the existing coconut plantations has paramount significance. Rethinam (2002) estimated that 15 million coconut seedlings are required annually to meet the planting material demand in coconut. Though plenty of varieties and hybrids have been released during the past 25 years, these varieties and hybrids are yet to reach the farmers in adequate numbers. Kerala State accounts for maximum area under coconut cultivation. Planting material production in the eight southern districts of Kerala should focus on production of material with resistance / tolerance to root (wilt) disease. The major constraint in the production of quality planting material is the limited availability of mother palms. Many existing seed gardens are more than 30 years old and the available mother palms (especially dwarfs) in such seed gardens are nearing senility. Moreover the coconut seed gardens have only parental palms of coconut varieties available at the time of their establishment. Reports point out that public sector contributes only to 25-30% of the total demand of coconut seedlings. Several short term, medium term and long term strategies are listed for large-scale production of quality planting materials of coconut. Lack of stringent laws to ensure quality control has only helped mushrooming of spurious coconut nurseries. Hence, it is suggested to enact laws for mandatory accreditation of coconut nurseries as a strategy for Quality Control. Certification and labeling of planting material is also needed to ensure quality. In order to increase the hybrid seedling production in coconut, a decentralized production mechanism can be envisaged by maintaining centralized pollen storage and supply mechanism. The dwarf and tall mother palms identified in farmer’s plots can be used for hybridization with the pollen supplied from regional pollen preservatory for production of notified D X T and T X D hybrids. Besides, encouraging NGO’s and Farmer Producers Organizations (Coconut Producers Society, Coconut Producers Federation and Coconut Producers Company) for raising quality planting material of high yielding local coconut ecotypes (viz., Kuttiyadi, Annur, Komadan, Jappanan, Bedakam, Adinad and Edava) is also suggested. Another strategy is to plant Early Generation Seed (EGS) or Promising Lines for Multi Location Trials in farms and seed gardens so as to enhance the availability of mother palms. This will also hasten the spread and multiplication of such varieties as and when they are notified and released for cultivation.

Dr Ravi Bhat

Dr Ravi Bhat, born on 18th May 1965 obtained B.Sc.(Agri) degree and M.Sc. (Agri) in Agronomy from University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnatkak and Ph.D. from prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He joined Agricultural Research Service as Scientist in 1991. He joined ICAR-CPCRI, Regional Station Vittal in 1992 and worked as Scientist, Senior Scientist and Principal Scientist for 20 years. He then came to ICAR-CPCRI, Kasaragod as Head, Division of Crop Production in 2012. His major area of research was plant nutrition, water management and cropping system. He is instrumental in standardizing the technology of drip fertigation in arecanut. He also standardized the nutrient requirement of arecanut and critical nutrient limits for arecanut crop and arecanut growing soil. He was also involved in standardizing different arecanut and coconut based cropping/farming systems which increased the income of farmers by more than 2-3 times. As Head of Division, he is involved in monitoring/guiding the research work on nutrient and water management and cropping/farming system in coconut, arecanut and cocoa. He is instrumental in initiating research on precision farming in coconut and arecanut. He has published more than 150 research and popular articles in national and international journals. He has been rewarded for his contributions in arecanut research with Best Arecanut Scientist Award in the year 2012. He is a recognised guide for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students of different universities in Karnataka.


Irrigation Management in Coconut Plantation

Ravi Bhat and P. Subramanian

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

Coconut, being a long duration perennial crop, produces a bunch every month. The nuts of different age groups can be seen at a time on the palm. Generally the initiation and differentiation of vegetative and reproductive primordia and enlargement of cells, which is a continuous process in coconut are sensitive to moisture stress. Thus the crop needs better growing conditions throughout the life period. Water is one of the important resources in coconut cultivation. Though coconut is traditionally grown in heavy rainfall areas receiving about 2500 to 3500 mm rainfall, majority of the rain is received in 5-6 months and the crop is subjected to deficit moisture stress during summer months (January to May). Increased yield of coconut by about 34 - 200% with the application of water alone indicates the importance of water in coconut cultivation. The studies conducted over years have estimated the annual water requirement of coconut as 1093-1126 mm and the annual irrigation requirement as 338-538 mm at different soil and climatic conditions (Saseendran and Jayakumar, 1988 and Liyanage and Mathes, 1989). Flood irrigation was initially adopted in coconut plantations for supplying water to palms. In this method entire field was irrigated and large quantity of water was required for irrigation. Later basin method of irrigation was adopted where the palms were irrigated only in basins around the palm. The quantity of water required was less in this method. With advent of technology and knowledge in irrigation management, sprinkler and perfo irrigation methods came into operational. With this the quantity of water required was much lesser compared to earlier methods. Further the scarcity of water lead to the invention of drip irrigation. Drip irrigation was much useful to the crops planted with wider spacing like coconut, since this method supplied water in the root zone of the crop and avoided wetting of entire field. By adopting drip irrigation method more area could be irrigated with less quantity of water. The studies conducted at ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute have concluded that providing drip irrigation at 66% pan evaporation is sufficient to meet the water requirement of coconut. Moisture distribution pattern under drip irrigation differed in different soil types. Thus number of drippers to be used should be based on the soil type for better efficiency of the system. Mulching has been found to enhance the efficiency of the drip irrigation system. The drip irrigation is found to be highly economical as it saves substantial quantity of water which can be used to irrigate more area. The method also increased the yield by 25-30%.

Mr. C. H. Mohamed

Mr. C. H. Mohamed is the Managing Director of Connolly Agriculture Producer Company Pvt. Ltd. and winner of National Award (South Zone) 2012 for Coconut Development Board. An entrepreneur and agriculturalist Mr. Mohamed is a holder of Jagjivan Ram Innovative Farmer Award (2018) of ICAR. He was also awarded Karshakothama in 2009 and Karshakasree in 2008. Mr. C. H. Mohamed is also the Chairman of Poovaranthode Farms and Heritage Tours Pvt. Ltd. and Vice Chairman of Tirur Coconut Producer Company Ltd. An eminent and well-respected member with agriculture and allied industry, Mr. Mohamed holds the position of President of Vettom South Kerala Karshaka Foundation running Jaivasree Farm school, Vettathunadu Coconut Products and Jaiasree Dairy farm.


Will be update soon

Krishnanunni. K.

Krishnanunni. K. is an agriculturist and farmer. He is the proud owner of agricultural land managed with scientific knowledge and elegant innovative spirit. Winner of Karshakothama award, Mr. Krishananunni has implemented integrated farming methods. He was at the forefront of implementing drip fertigation method in Kerala. Apart from rice cultivation in his 10 acres, He is also involved in the cultivation of fish, coconut, coco, vegetables, etc. He has also done Open precision farming in 4 acres and made use of ecological engineering methods.


Will be update soon

Mr. Sunny George

Mr. Sunny George is the Chairman of Thejaswini Coconut Farmers Producer Company Ltd. which is an initiative of 30000 farmers in Kannur and Kasargod districts. Thejaswini stands for Social development activities, value addition, and farmer service activities. The Thejaswini has received various awards from different sources. The Company has received the National Entrepreneurship Award 2017 from the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India and State Award 2016 for the best farmer producer organization from NABARD. The Company has honored with a national award from ICAR- Central Plantation Crops Research Institute for the best business plan presented at a workshop held in 2018. Mr. Sunny George has received various awards and recognitions for activities in organic farming. The ‘Karshaksree’ award for the best organic farmer in the state was received from Malayala Manorama in the year 2010. He also received ‘Karshakashakthi’ award from Dist. Cooperative bank in association with NABARD. He has received an award from the Kerala State Government for the best organic farmer of the State in the year 2018.


Will be update soon

Mr. Paul Francis

Mr. Paul Francis, Managing Director of KLF Nirmal Industries (P) Ltd, is the youngest of three sons of Late Shri. K.L. Francis, an industrialist who was the Founder Managing Director of Kerala Solvent Extractions Ltd. (KSE Ltd). After completing secondary education from Montfort School, Yercaud, Mr. Paul Francis joined his father to set up a Coconut Oil Mill in a rented building at Eriyad, near Kodungalloor in 1987-88. He started Coconut Oil Mill named “KLF Oil Industries” (KLF) in 1992 in Irinjalakuda. Over the years, the factory has turned out to be a state of the art extraction and packaging unit. Under the stewardship of Mr. Paul Francis, in 2004-05, KLF set up a Mill for the manufacture of Sesame Oil (Gingelly Oil). Both Coconut Oil and Sesame Oil is marketed under the brand name of “KLF NIRMAL” which is among the top-selling brands in the country with a presence, in Kerala, Karnataka, Andra, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Orissa, MP, Delhi, Goa, etc. “KLF NIRMAL” is a well-known brand in GCC countries viz. Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, etc. It is also available in the USA, Australia & African Countries. KLF has bagged “Export Award 2004-2005” from Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry and recently “Best Miller Exporter Award for 2008” from Coconut Development board. KLF is currently a Private Limited Company called “KLF Nirmal Industries (P) Ltd”.


Will be update soon

Mr. Rajarathinam. K.

Mr. Rajarathinam. K., Proprietor of Essar Engineering has a 9 years experience in tool engineering and management, and 20 years of experience in manufacturing and installing equipments for Coconut food, Coconut shell, and Coconut husk based projects. Graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Madurai Kamaraj University, Mr.Rajarathinam. K. is well known around the world among Coconut husk based horticultural products producers and buyers. Essar engineering has installed around 600 installations in coconut growing countries like India, Srilanka, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Vanuatu, etc. Invested in 300 Ton Coconut food processing factory - Processing Coconut Milk, Virgin Coconut oil and Coconut water- in the Philippines. Owner of 1200 Coconut Tree Plantation with modern automated drip irrigation system, adapted with rainwater harvesting and natural farming. Mr. Rajarathnam’s firm has done a project for processing 2 lakh nuts a day in Visakhapatnam to process Virgin coconut oil, low-fat DC, Coconut water, etc.


Will be update soon

K.C. Sreedharan Nambiar

Director of Anjarakandy Farmers’ Service Co-operative Bank, Mr. K. C. Sreedharan Nambiar is currently monitoring the pioneer project of Malabar “Integrated Coconut Processing Plant” where Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk, Virgin Coconut Oil are produced with modern technology. Born on 25 Feb 1954 at Tellicherry, Kannur District of Kerala, Mr. K. C. Sreedharan Nambiar is the son of VP Shankaran Nambiar, a well-known contractor in erstwhile Malabar Region. Mr. K. C. Sreedharan Nambiar, joined the Department of Posts & Telegraph in 1974 and moved to Army Postal Service and continued up to 1989. In 1990 on a special assignment deputed to Embassy of India, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as Assistant Military Attache for about 4 years. On return to India took volunteer retirement, later joined the Royal Guard of Oman, Sultanate of Oman in 1996 as Admin Chief in the Protocol Division and continued there until July 2013. Mr. Sreedharan traveled throughout the country and some foreign countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, Republic of Yemen, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany on official capacity.


Will be update soon

Mr. Ananthakrishnan

Mr. Ananthakrishnan started his career as a fellow worker in a fabrication unit, then worked for Movers Pvt ltd from 1980 onwards. As a self tutored engineer and he was entrusted in the commissioning of various cement processing plants for Deccan cements and Lokapur cements in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka respectively. Ananth Dryers was formed by Ananthakrishnan in 1989 with the aim of using his expertise in Copra processing sector. Ananth Dryers are into the design, fabrication, erection, and maintenance of Coconut Processing units. Prime projects of Ananth Dryers included pants for Surya oil industries, Arikkat oil industries, and Kallamkunnnu service co-operative bank. Kallamkunnu plant was a coconut drying plant rather than a conventional copra dryer. This was commissioned successfully in 1992. The success of this plant captured the attention of Coconut Development Board and with the encouragement from coconut development board, Mr. Anandakrishnan designed and installed India’s first coconut dryer based on waste heat utilization at high-tech coconut processors in Kollam. An improved version of this plant was later then commissioned in Thiruvampady near Kozhikode. The widespread spread publicity Thiruvampady got for its copra dryer created a wave among the co-operative societies across Kerala. Many of them adopted this novel copra drying system. At present Ananth Dryers have commissioned more than 30 Coconut Processing plants of various capacities for various co-operative societies across the state. Mr. Ananthakrishnan has been recognized several times for his contribution to the field of Coconut processing by various institutions such as NABARD, DIC, and Coconut Development Board. Ongoing projects of the organization include oil plants for Venginisseri S.C.B, Nanniyode S.C.B, and Peringandoor S.C.B.


Will be update soon

Mr. M. A. Lukmanjee

Murtaza Adamjee Lukmanjee took over the reins of Adamjee Lukmanjee & Sons as Managing Director at a very early age, after his late father in 1996. He has been instrumental in the continuous growth of the company and its expansion into new products and new markets worldwide. Murtaza holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Babson University in Boston, USA. He was also Chairman of the Coconut Product Traders Association for over 10 years, the apex association representing Sri Lanka’s Coconut exports. He has been involved in various committees in an advisory capacity to shape Sri Lanka’s policy decisions on the Coconut industry. Adapting to the ever-changing demands of the industry and with continuous development in its range of traditional and value-added products, Murtaza has steered Adamjee to hold a leading position in the Coconut and Spice industries in Sri Lanka. Under his guidance, the company, now over 150 years old, has won several awards for outstanding export performance in Sri Lanka, making the Adamjee Group an establishment which exceeds a turnover of USD 50 million.


Will be update soon

Mr. Ubais Ali

Mr. Ubais Ali is the Executive Director of Mezhukkattil Mills, a Government Recognised Star Export House and Manufacturer Exporter of different grades of coconut oil, and MM Mezhukkattil Farmeto Private Limited, a company that specialises in the value-added products from coconut. A Bachelor of Technology (BTech) Computer Science Graduate and an MBA Graduate in Finance & Marketing, he had a short stint at Key Management Group (KMG) in IT consulting and business development. Belonging to the 2nd generation of Mezhukkattil, a family business group from central Kerala, the 37-year-old Ubais Ali is also the Director of Edathala Polymers Private Limited, a rubber processing company, and the Vice President of Kerala coconut Oil Manufacturers Association (KCMA). A technocrat with in-depth knowledge in the latest processing technologies and coconut oil standards and specifications, Ubais Ali was a delegate in World Coconut Congress (WCC) in the Philippines and International Conference on Coconut Oil (ICCO) in Thailand. And during the visit of Malaysian Prime Minister in India, he signed an MOU with a Malaysian company for collaboration in the coconut sector. With two patent applications under process in the name of Ubais Ali, his company today handles around 22 international brands in Private Labelling segment.


Will be update soon

Malappattam Prabhakaran

Born in 1950 at Malappattam village in Kannur district, Mr.Malappattam Prabhakaran is a well-known author of works on agriculture. He started his career as Agricultural Demonstrator in 1976, retired from the service as Assistant Agricultural Officer in 2005. He has been writing about agriculture from 1983 onwards, starting with Malayalam daily Deshabhimani Mr. Prabhakaran in Mathrubhumi and other journals. In his role as an agricultural writer, Mr. Prabhakaran wrote more than 1500 articles on the topic to date. In 2011, Mr. Prabhakaran was awarded the "Media Award on Agriculture". He was also the chairperson of Irikkur block panchayat during standing committee on development issues. Later he also worked as the KILA resource person. Mr. Malapattam Prabhakaran continues to engage himself in the propagation of knowledge on agriculture.


Will be update soon

Jijo Paul

Jijo Paul is a startup entrepreneur based in Cochin, Kerala. He did his master’s in electrical engineering. He currently serves as the CEO of Resnova technologies. The company specializes in developing innovative solutions to address the problems of common man with the aid of technology. Jijo was also recognized at various national and international forums for his achievements in the area of Robotics, Electronics, innovations etc. Being a hardcore techie, he puts his focus on solving the problems in Agriculture & Industry with the aid of cutting-edge technology. Advanced tagging system to ensure quality & source of planting material, Dairy management system for detecting diseases in cattle, Detection system for red palm weevil infestation etc. are some of his noteworthy projects in these lines. His main areas of interest are Internet of Things (IoT), Technology in Agriculture, Robotics etc.


Will be update soon

Dominic M. M.

Mr. Dominic M. M. is a well-respected member of the farming community. His work has earned him multiple awards and recognitions. He won the national award for the best coconut farmer for years 2014-16 for his outstanding performance and contribution to the field. He is also the winner of Karshakothama award in the year 2014-15. Mr. Dominic also holds the Kerakesari award, a state agriculture award, for the year 2009-10.


Will be update soon

O.V.R. Somasundaram

O.V.R. Somasundaram is a leading planter cultivating coconut and other plantation crops like nutmeg, cocoa, pepper under mixed cropping system in his farm at Odaiyakulam village near Pollachi. He is rendering service to the farmers by sourcing them the best progeny planting material of coconut, nutmeg, and pepper. A botany graduate from Madras Christain College, Mr. Somasundaram's major achievements include controlling measures taken during the outbreak of coconut leaf-eating caterpillar Turnaca acuta in Kinnathukadavu area with the help and guidance of TNAU, CPCRI, CDB, Department of Agriculture Tamilnadu, and farmer friends in the year 1996. Two years later, in 1998, Mr. Somasundaram identified for the first time the outbreak of coconut Eriophyid mite in the Pollachi with the help of Dr. Mohanasundaram, Retired Entomologist of TNAU and on testing of nearly 30 types of pesticides suggested control measures to the District Collector, Coimbatore district. Later TNAU came up with the same as one of the recommended control measures.

Mr. Somasundaram was awarded 'Best Coconut Grower of Tamilnadu' in 1991 by CPCRI, Kasargod. He also won 'Velanmai Chemmal Award' in 2005 by TNAU.

O.V.R. Somasundaram has held positions including Member, Advisory Committee, Doordarshan Kendra Chennai; Member, Research Advisory Group, Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Coimbatore; Member of the drafting committee of Tamil Nadu Organic Farming Policy. He has also served as Member, Board of Management, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore; Member, Regional Research Council, TNAU; Research Council Member, Coconut Development Board, Kochi; Member, Appeal Committee for Organic Certification, Government of Tamil Nadu; Member, Tamil Nadu Forest Department Advisory Committee; Honorary Tree warden, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary.


Will be update soon

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Programme Schedule is subject to change.
National Coconut Challenge 2019

Kerala State Industries Development Corporation (KSIDC), Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), and State Planning Board are jointly organising a National Coconut Challenge as part of the International Conference & Exposition on coconut scheduled on November 2 and 3, 2019. The event is to be held at The Gateway Hotel, Kozhikode.

The Challenge seeks to foster ideas and innovations in the coconut sector (including coconut farming, marketing, process improvement, etc.). The Challenge will be a unique opportunity for startups, innovators, individuals, and students to showcase their idea or prototype in the conference. It will also enable them to get mentoring and funding support from various government agencies to carry their ideas forward.


The exposition will offer a platform for processors, manufacturers, suppliers, fabricators, and entrepreneurs in Coconut sector both at national and international level to showcase their products and services.

The exposition will also display the best practices being followed in this sector, technologies and innovations that could be further scaled up and will also serve as a Business-to-Business Meet (B2B) for local buyers as well as national and international buyers, processors, and suppliers.

By bridging the gap between buyers and sellers the exposition will be a platform for expansion of trade and business in the industry

In addition to industrial representatives, Government and semi-Government intuitions as well as educational/research institutions in the coconut sector, such as The Coconut Development Board (CDB), Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) and the Kerala Agriculture University (KAU) will exhibit their services in the Exposition.

The Exposition will be open to public from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm on November 2 and 3, 2019

Who Should Register

  • Coir based industries
  • Coconut based industries
  • Techology providers
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Service providers
  • Research institutions
Register for Exposition
Advisory Committee
Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala
Shri Pinarayi Vijayan
Chief Minister of Kerala
  • Shri E P Jayarajan, Minister for Industries, Sports and Youth Affairs
    Shri E P Jayarajan
    Minister for Industries, Sports and Youth Affairs
  • Dr T M Thomas Isaac, Minister for Finance and Coir
    Dr T M Thomas Isaac
    Minister for Finance and Coir
  • Adv V S Sunil Kumar, Minister for Agriculture
    Adv V S Sunil Kumar
    Minister for Agriculture
  • Dr V K Ramachandran, Vice Chairperson,  State Planning Board
    Dr V K Ramachandran
    Vice Chairperson, State Planning Board
  • Shri Tom Jose IAS, Chief Secretary,  Government of Kerala
    Shri Tom Jose IAS
    Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala
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Location Map
The Gateway Hotel, Kozhikode
Contact us
For Exposition
Shri.Rajesh Jacob
Asst. General Manager
Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation ( KSIDC )
2nd Floor ,Choice Towers,
Manorama Junction,Kochi
Kerala, India
For Conference
Er Joy N R
Chief (Industry & Infrastructure Division)
Kerala State Planning Board,
Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram 695004,
Kerala, India
Mobile - +91 944 6050 543