Coconut cultivation can yield remunerative results through effective mechanisation, plant protection, and value addition, suggested a recently conducted seminar-cum-training programme on coconut cultivation and modern technologies, organised jointly under the aegis of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Sikkal, and Coconut Research Station, Veppakulam, here in Vedaranyam.

Briefly touching upon the constraints faced by Cauvery Delta farmers, Dr. K. Ramasamy, Vice-Chancellor, TNAU, Coimbatore, in his keynote address spoke of technology-based diversification of cultivation. He stressed the need for selecting exclusive high-yielding coconut varieties for tender coconut, and copra production with high oil content and value addition.

Farmers were urged to form the coconut producers’ organisation with the support extended by NABARD. In a move to diversification, the Vice-Chancellor urged farmers to venture into production of value-added products from coconut through “secondary agriculture approach”.

Coconut is cultivated in all the districts of Tamil Nadu with Cauvery Delta Zone contributing to about 62,000 hectares of land. Nagapattinam holds about 4,100 hectares of land under coconut cultivation predominantly in Veppankulam coastal area.

Chairing the seminar, Collector T. Munusamy spoke on the importance of coconut cultivation and requested the coconut growers of the district to utilise the schemes available through the Department of Agriculture and the Coconut Development Board, Kochi. He requested the TNAU and its scientists to render periodic technological support on the latest innovations in coconut production. The District Collector released a Tamil booklet on Coconut Cultivation — Modern Technologies.

The training programme on coconut production technologies employed the use of visual aids by the scientists of Coconut Research Station, Veppankulam. The sessions entailed demonstrations on coconut manure, plant protection, root feeding of TNAU coconut tonic and use of TNAU coconut climber under the aegis of the scientists of KVK, Sikkal, were organised by the KVK, Sikkal, Nagapattinam scientists.

The inaugural sessions witnessed participation from C.V. Sairam, Principal scientist, ICAR, Bangalore.

U. Rajendran, Joint Director Agriculture, Nagapattinam; R. Rajendran, Professor and Head, KVK; Paramasivam, Field Officer, Coconut Development Board, Chennai; S. Mohandas, Professor and Head, CRS, Veppankulam; M. Karthikeyan, Assistant Professor, KVK, Sikkal, were present.