CPCRI lab develops microorganisms for robust coconut and cocoa seedlings

A bioinoculant laboratory that helps develop microorganisms for healthy and robust coconut and cocoa seedlings, has come up at the Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) here.

At a recent function inaugurated by S. Ayyappan, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (ARE ) secretary , two of the best performing bacteria samples were formally released to help farmers.

While the first is the Kera Probio, a talc-based bioinoculant containing the PGPR Bacillus megaterium for coconut, the other is Cocoa Probio containing Pseudomonas putida, meant for cocoa.

Ravisankar, a farmer from Vorkady, received the Kera Probio packet and Chouta, from Meenja was given the Cocoa Pro Bio packet by Dr. Ayyappan.

N.K. Krishna Kumar, Deputy Director General (Horticulture) Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), released draft genome sequences of three PGPR bacteria that promoted multiple plant growth properties that led to increased growth of coconut, cocoa and arecanut.

The function also saw a technology module for collecting neera, from coconut palm was showcased and the product 'Kalparasa' (health drink extracted from coconut inflorescence) was also launched.

Two publications from CPCRI – cataloguing the experiences of organising scientist-farmer interface programmes and on technologies for higher productivity and income from coconut farming – were also released by Dr. Ayyappan.

D.C. Chowta, award winning farmer, shared his observations in using technologies for coconut and areca nut-based integrated farming, especially cultivation of dwarf coconut varieties for tendernut purpose to generate higher income.

Jojy P. Daniel, a progressive farmer from West Eleri in the district, shared his experiences on adopting integrated disease management technologies for the control of bud rot disease in coconut.

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