Coimbatore: A coconut hybrid, which is also drought tolerant and capable of yielding about 165 nuts/palms a year, would be released by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University soon.
Work is also in progress to identify ‘super palms’, capable of yielding more than 300 nuts/palms a year, T S Raveendran, director, Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics, said here.
TNAU vice-chancellor C Ramasamy said a ‘drought management technology package’ for coconut cultivation should be developed on war-footing.
Coconut is increasingly becoming an economically important crop and the area under plantation was growing rapidly in Tamil Nadu. However, drought is a serious risk factor and many trees were completely wiped out during the recent drought spell in the state, he said.
Therefore, field experiments under artificially created drought conditions of different intensities with selected treatments should be a priority area, a TNAU release quoting Ramasamy, said.
It was proposed to develop different irrigation models for coconut gardens including those planted along bunds and channels in the TNAU research stations, for the benefit of farmers.
It was also proposed to intensify breeding programmes in coconut, basically in the three Coconut Research Stations of the University, Ramasamy said.