Since the publication of 'The coconut palm - A monograph' in 1960, considerable information has been accrued on the crop through work at research institutes, international organisations and development agencies. Although coconut cultivation is spread over 93 countries, providing employment and creating livelihood opportunities to 64 million families around the globe, smallholder coconut farmers are now facing numerous challenges. The wide gap between the potential and actual yield is a major concern, and as such it is necessary to disseminate knowledge in order to implement research findings. Coconut research in India, one of the leading coconut producing countries, is celebrating its centenary, making this an opportune time to review the research and development advances and the relevant technologies. This detailed, comprehensive book covers all aspects of coconut, from the origins to cultivation, breeding, physiology and value addition, as well as subjects of topical interest like nutrition and health, biotechnology, and climate change and carbon sequestration. Written by leading experts in the fields it emphasises that the livelihood of the small coconut landholders is the ultimate aim of scientists and developmental agencies, and outlines various important strategies to make coconut farming more remunerative globally. It discusses work in all the major coconut growing countries and outlines suggestions for international cooperation.
Research work on the crop is comparatively difficult because of its perennial nature, longevity, height, long juvenile phase, large sized nuts, cross pollination and seed propagation. As these special features necessitate greater investment of resources, time and land, it is all the more imperative that research is not duplicated and the information and experience becoming available around the world is shared so that it can be fully utilised. In this context periodic publications, compiling all the available information on coconut assume greater significance. This book is therefore of great value to researchers, students, extension workers, developmental agencies and progressive farmers.
Dr. Nampoothiri is a former Director of the Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (C.P.C.R.I.), Kasaragod, Kerala, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Government of India. He served as the Head of the Division of Plant Breeding at the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research, Benin city, Nigeria for five years. He was also Director of M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, India and a FAO consultant. He is the recipient of the Platinum Jubilee Award for coconut research and development from the C.P.C.R.I. His major field of specialization is agriculture: cytogenetics and plant breeding.
Dr. V. Krishnakumar is currently a Principal Scientist (Agronomy) and Head, ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (Regional Station), Kayamkulam, Kerala. He served as editor of the Journal of Plantation Crops. As an agronomist he has edited ten books and published more than 100 research and technical articles as well as contributing chapters in various books and technical bulletins.
Mr. P. K. Thampan is the (retired) Chief Coconut Development Officer of the Coconut Development Board, Government of India. Specializing in agronomy, he was involved in the implementation of numerous international COGENT (Coconut Genetic Resources) and APCC (Asian Pacific Coconut community) projects. His field activities cover agricultural extension, agricultural education and integrated development of the coconut industry. Sri Thampan is the founder President of Peekay Tree Crops Development Foundation, a non-governmental organization. He is the recipient of the Dr. C. S. Venkat Ram Memorial Award. He has authored 18 books as well as 200 scientific and technical essays.
Dr. M. Achuthan Nair served as Professor of Agronomy and Director (Academic), Kerala Agricultural University. He is a FAO (UN) consultant. His fields of specialization are plant nutrition, agronomy and agro forestry, and he has published over 100 scientific articles.