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18 Sep 2020, Edition - 1893, Friday

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Coimbatore

Mass multiplication of elite coconut varieties to meet demand of quality seedlings

Covai Post Network

Coimbatore : Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) here is making innovative attempt for mass multiplication of Elite Coconut genotypes
through Tissue Culture in order to meet the demand in supply of quality seedlings as well as to reduce the number of nuts going for seed purposes.

The attempt is supported by Tamil Nadu Innovation Initiative of State Planning Commission and as a first step towards the milestone, Centre for Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in TNAU has optimized in vitro culturing of dissected embryo and regenerating them into whole plants.

The current multiplication ratio of 1:1 enables supply of only 30 per cent of the demand (3 to 3.5 million against 10 million seedlings demand) and Multiplication rate has to be increased to at least 1:20 without compromising on quality and genetic uniformity.

TNAU has brought its tissue culture baby on September two in commemoration with World Coconut Day and planted the first tissue culture derived coconut at TNAU Coconut Garden, a university release said Sunday.

Stating that the demand for coconut has increased by 500 percent in the last decade and this has widened the gap between supply and demand, it said that to meet the increasing demand of coconut and its products, the production and productivity have to be increased.

Establishing elite coconut gardens and rejuvenating the existing aged coconut orchards require quality seedlings elite coconut genotypes, the release said.

Globally, India ranks at third position in terms of coconut cultivation and production and Tamil Nadu ranks second next to Kerala in terms of coconut production and productivity in the Country.

Increased consumption of tender coconuts, increased use of coconut oil for culinary purposes and development of other industrial products from various parts of coconut tree/fruits necessitates significant increase in coconut production.

TNAU is channelizing its efforts towards increasing the multiplication ratio to 1:2, 1:4 and 1:8 so as to meet the demands of the Tamil Nadu farmers, the release said.

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