21 AGM


		held at

Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai

	During July 11-13, 2012



Venue	:	Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai
Period	:	July 11-13, 2012	
08.00 -   09.00 hrs	:	Registration	
09.00 –10.30 hrs	:	INAUGURAL SESSION
Welcome Address	Dean (Hort.), TNAU
Coordinator’s Report	Maheswarappa H.P
			Project Coordinator (Palms) 

Guest of honour	 Dr. P. Rethinam
 		Former Executive Director, APCC

Presidential Address	Dr. P. Subbian, 
		Acting VC, TNAU, Coimbatore
Release of publications
Best AICRP Centre Award
	Dr. H.P. Singh 
	DDG (Hort.), ICAR
Inaugural Address	Dr. H.P. Singh		                   
			Deputy Director General (Hort.)

Vote of Thanks	Dean (Agri), Madurai

10.30 – 10.45 hrs	: Tea 

TECHNICAL SESSION – I : Variety release proposals

I. Special session: Deliberations and discussions on topical issues to address the challenges
1.	Phytoplasmal diseases of palms – challenges and preparedness - by                                  Dr. R. Chadhramohanan
2.	Molecular aspects of phytoplasma diseases in palms – by Dr.(Mrs) R. Manimekalai
3.	Management of insect pest of palms – current status and challenges – by                              Dr. K. Subaharan
4.	Vermitech for soil and plant health – by Dr. Murali Gopal
II. Presentation on the Action Taken Report on XX BGM Recommendations:       
                   Dr. Maheswarappa, Project Cordinator (Palms)

TECHNICAL SESSION – III: Stake holder’s Meet

TECHNICAL SESSION – IV :  Genetic Resources & Crop Improvement 

TECHNICAL SESSION – V :   Crop Management I - Coconut
TECHNICAL SESSION – V :   Crop Management II – Oilpalm and Palmyrah

TECHNICAL SESSION – VII:     Disease Management


The XXI Annual Group Meeting of AICRP on Palms was held during 11-13 July, 2012 at Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai. The group meeting was attended by 80 delegates from 20 centres of AICRP on Palms, State Agricultural Universities, Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), Directorate of Oil palm Research, Coconut Development Board and State Department of Horticulture covering 12 states of the country. The group meeting discussed the progress of ongoing research programmes in coconut, oil palm, palmyrah palm and fish tail palm (sulphi palm).

Inaugural session

The inaugural session of the XXI biennial group meeting of AICRP on Palms commenced with the welcome address by Dr. N. Kumar, Dean (Horticulture), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. DR. H.P. Maheswarappa, Project Coordinator (Palms) presented the Coordinator’s report narrating the salient findings and research achievements emanated from the All India Coordinated Research Project on Palms conducted in all the AICRP centres representing various agroclimatic zones.

Dr. H.P. Singh, Deputy Director General, ICAR, New Delhi inaugurated the session. In his address, he highlighted the importance of horticultural crops in improving the livelihood of people. However, challenge still lies to increase the production and productivity of crops like coconut and oil palm. Hybrid production could help to realize the yield potential of coconut and a public-private participatory approach would be the best strategy to achieve sustainability in production and distribution of quality planting materials. Also, productivity gain could be achieved through integrated cropping system. He emphasized that AICRP centres should focus their research activities on key aspects such as development of microbial consortium for disease management, recycling biomass in forms such as vermicompost, understanding the genotype and environment interactions in view of climate change and investigating the role of pollinators in improving productivity. Further, dynamics of pest and disease evolution with climate change should be addressed. In Cumbum and Theni districts of Tamil Nadu, where coconut wilt has emerged as a serious disease, seed transmission of the disease need to be confirmed. Other possible hosts and transmission modes of the disease need a detailed investigation. With respect to oil palm, he enumerated that oil palm cultivation is turning out a success story in states like Andhra Pradesh. However regeneration and large scale multiplication of well performing parent materials viz., Dura and Pisifera should be ensured for production of high yielding hybrids. He envisioned the development and strengthening of a computerised model for reviewing the progress of each AICRP centre. Being in the genomics era, he wished India should take a lead role in sequencing the coconut genome.

Dr. P. Subbian, acting Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University presided over the function. In his presidential address, he emphasized that a new platform on natural fibres launched by ICAR in the XII five year plan would give more impetus to coconut cultivation. He also assured that TNAU would take efforts to promote area expansion in oil palm. He stressed that research should be focused on development of dwarf hybrids, improved tools and machineries for harvesting and standardizing the technology for value added products in palms. He also suggested that Killikulam centre could be recognized by ICAR as a national active germplasm site for palmyrah due to its potential contribution in palmyrah germplasm collection and conservation.

Dr.P. Rethinam, Former Executive Director of Asian Pacific Coconut Community offered felicitations. In his felicitation, he expressed that impact has to be made on the availability of quality planting materials of released cultivars to farmers. As ample opportunities exist for value addition in coconut, focus should be given to tap the export market potential for products such as coconut sweeteners, coconut milk, virgin coconut oil and coir based geotextiles. He also opined that oil palm which is a potential source of vegetable oil should receive more attention in the coming years.

During this session, English and Telugu versions of the technical bulletin on “Integrated Pest and Disease Management in Coconut” were released by Dr. H.P.Singh, Deputy Director General, ICAR, New Delhi and Dr. P. Rethinam, Former Executive Director (APCC). As a token of motivation and encouragement to the AICRP scientists, best AICRP award was given to HRS, Ambajipeta, for their excellent contributions in coconut research. The award was sponsored by Lt. Amith Singh Memorial Foundation, New Delhi. Dr. Vairavan, Dean, Agricultural college and Research Institute, TNAU, Madurai ended the inaugural session by proposing the vote of thanks.

Stakeholders meet:

At the outset the DDG (Hort) briefed the idea of this stakeholders meet and requested to be very brief in highlighting the constraints in the industry and the expectations from the research group.

Dr. Maheswar, Additional Director of Horticulture (Oil palm Scheme), Govt of Karnataka explained the developmental activities by the department on the promotion of oilpalm in Karnataka and also explained on the constraints. He explained that a novel approach of GIS based land identification, formation of oil palm growers groups, incentives based on the production of FFB, publicity and SMS facilities. Publication of monthly calendar of operations and pert chart for oil palm developmental agencies are followed. On the constraints on development of new selections for drought tolerance Dr P. Rathinam, Former ED, APCC told that the drought types identified from other sources can be obtained and evaluated by the DOPR. The DDG suggested to identify and allot a land for intensive breeding programmes and many constraints can be overcome by dovetailing the oilpalm promotion with already operating welfare schemes of the state government. DDG also suggested to go for immediate purchase of tools and equipments for harvesting through other state schemes.

Dr. Dundi, JDH (Plantation Crops), Govt. of Karnataka suggested to concentrate and work on pest and diseases of coconut and DDG advised to discuss with scientists and chart out new programmes if any needed.

Mr. Murugan, DDH of Govt of Tamil Nadu detailed about the wilt problems in in Theni areas. It was advised not to transport seedling from that area and also be vigilant in selecting new areas as this is not a traditional belt.

Mr.Jagmohan, Joint Commissioner of Agriculture, Andhra Pradesh briefed about the scenario and constraints of coconut and oil palm in Andhra Pradesh. The DDG suggested that the state government can work with CDB and workout technologies and varieties identified. He also suggested that the eriophyid mite can be managed through the management practices suggested for that. It was advised that a group of progressive farmers can visit CPCRI organic farms and get acquainted with organic farming packages.

Mr Sugada Ghose, CCDO, CDB assured all assistance and said that work on friend crops of coconut is going on and insurance cover can be provided

On behalf of the oil palm entrepreneurs Mr. R. Annamalai, Head (Operations), CPL Ltd, Tamil Nadu requested that in the academic curriculum oilpalm cultivation practices to be included and DDG suggested the universities to accommodate the study material in the syllabus.

Mr.Gopal, a progressive farmer appreciated the scientific community for problem solving and requested to keep the tempo. The DDG assured that this group is dedicated for that and all advise and help will be rendered to the satisfaction.

The deliberations of the group were conducted in different technical sessions held from 11th to 13th and the salient decisions and recommendations were presented during the Plenary Session held on 13th July, 2012. The sessions dealt with aspects such as (1) Stakeholders meet , (2) Variety release proposal, (3) Deliberations and discussions on topical issues to address the challenges (4)Crop improvement in coconut, oil palm & palmyrah (4) Crop Management in coconut, oil palm & palmyrah, (5) Pest management in coconut, (6) Disease management in coconut and (7) Post harvest technology in palmyrah & project on sulphi palm. The technical sessions were chaired by eminent scientists in the respective fields.

The Plenary Session was chaired by Dr. George V. Thomas, Director CPCRI anc Co-chaired by Dr. K. Vairavan, Dean, AC & RI, Madurai. Chairman welcomed the delegates and the guests and briefed about the proceedings of meeting. Project Coordinator (Palms) presented the salient recommendations and decisions taken during the deliberations followed by presentation of the technical programme for 2012-13 was made and it was approved by the group meeting.


3.1.1. The major recommendations of the XXI AICRP Group meeting:

  • The hybrids like Gautami ganga x Chandra kalpa (GBGD x LCOT), Gautami ganga x Double century (GBGD x PHOT) and GBGDx Kera Bastar.are performing well in Ambajipeta and Arsikere Centres. These hybrids will be proposed for release during this group meeting.
  • The following coconut based medicinal crop combinations could be recommended for commercial adoption at the respective regions.
    Medicinal and aromatic crops performing well in coconut garden in different regions were identified and recommended to enhance the income: Ambajipeta - Palmarosa, mango ginger, patchouli, citronella Aliyarnagar – Alpinia galanga, Lemon grass(Cymbopogon flexuosus), Patchouli Arsikere – Lemon grass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), garden rue (Ruta graveolens), tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata), arrow root (Maranta arundinaceae) and makoi (Solanum nigrum) Kahikuchi – Pipali, Patchouli, Citronella, Sarpagandha Mondouri – Sarpagandha, Aswagandha, Arrowroot Ratnagiri - Sathavari, Adulsa, Arrow root, Lemon grass, Citronella Veppankulam – Aloe vera, Alpinia galangal, Ocimum sanctum Jagadalpur: Stevia, Amahaldi, Sarpagandha,Tikhur, Patchouli
  • Study on defoliation of leaves on yields, indicated that there has been significant increase in yield of both neera and nungu in male and female trees, as compared to the control, when the trees were defoliated to the level of 30 percent

Focus areas of research have been identified in the fields of evaluation of promising lines of various mandate crops for different agroclimatic regions; exploitation of hybrid vigour using local ecotypes and promising location specific accessions; production systems to improve nutrient and water use efficiency and cropping system for mitigating climate change; protection strategies with a focus on use of bioagents; and post harvest technology aimed at product diversification and value addition.