भाकृअनुप - केंद्रीय रोपण फसल अनुसंधान संस्थान
ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute
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Root (Wilt) Disease Management Training for Tamil Nadu Officials

Mar 06, 2024 : ICAR-CPCRI, Regional Station, Kayamkulam

A training programme on ‘Identification and management of root (wilt) disease of coconut’ was conducted at ICAR-CPCRI, Regional Station, Kayamkulam during March 4-6, 2024.Due to the widespread occurrence of the disease in Pollachi (Coimbatore District) and other parts of Tamil Nadu in the recent years,the programme was designed forofficials from Department of Horticulture & Plantation Crops, Tamil Nadu representing Coimbatore, Tirupur, Theni, Tenkasi and Kanyakumari districts. Root (wilt) disease of coconut is a non-lethal, debilitating malady in coconut palms that impairs nut production significantly.

The programme was inaugurated by Dr. Regi Jacob Thomas, Head of the Regional Station who emphasised on the relevance of the training to counter the root (wilt) disease, demonstrated by ICAR-CPCRI in Kerala. Dr. B. Hanumanthe Gowda, Chief Coconut Development Officer, CDB, Kochi delivered valedictory address and called for the horizontal transfer of the root (wilt) disease management strategies to other officials and to the coconut community of the region. Smt. M. Bhuvaneswari, Deputy Director (Horticulture), Coimbatore ensured all support from the Horticulture Department to tackle the disease and for improving the livelihood of the coconut farmers.

ICAR-CPCRI has evolved technological solutions including resistant/tolerant varieties, nutritional and leaf rot management to counter the disease and improve the nut yield in coconut palms. As part of the three-day training programme, the horticulture officials were trained to identify root (wilt) disease, disease indexing, management of key pests on coconut including exotic whiteflies infesting palms, resistant/tolerant coconut varieties/hybrids to combat root (wilt) disease, innovative ground pollination techniques, nutritional and leaf rot disease management with emphasis on customized nutrient mixtures and microbial consortia, system approach to de-risk farmers as well as farmer-participatory, community-mode and area-wide disease management strategies that were successfully demonstrated in Kerala. In addition, the trainees were taken to all experimental plots on breeding for resistance, nursery management, targeted nutrient and water delivery through fertigation as well as heterogenous and composite cropping for pest regression. Laboratory visits were undertaken to experience hands-on-training on the mass production of bioagents to tackle coconut pests, diagnosis of pests and disease, pollen processing and storage for hybridization programme.

Thirty officials from the Department of Horticulture & Plantation Crops, Tamil Nadu, participated in the programme. The programme was sponsored by Coconut Development Board, Kochi.Dr. P. Anithakumari and Dr. A. Joseph Rajkumar were course directors and Dr. Merin Babu, Dr.Anes KM, Dr.Jilu V. Sajan, Dr. M. Shareefa and Dr. S. Indhuja were convenors.