India Post has released a set of two stamps alongwith a miniature sheet(Price 20 Rs.) on 100 Years of Coconut Research in India on 8th January 2018. The humble coconut has been in existence for over 3,000 years, but it was only in 1916 that the Coconut Research Station was initially established at Kasaragod which later became part of the Kerala state in 1956.
A 100 years later, this institute is now known as the Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) and conducts research on coconut, arecanut and cocoa. It is one of the agricultural research institutes in the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Tracing the history of coconut research in India, a joint paper by CPCRI Director P. Chowdappa and A.K. Singh, Coconut Development Board (CDB) Chairman, observed that the process for collecting good seed nuts from select palms and selecting good seedlings at nursery-stage based on certain criteria began in 1918. CPCRI considers this as a huge achievement as developing and evaluating a new hybrid takes 20 years.
A century later, coconut has come a long way and continues to achieve greater heights as it is now an important horticultural crop cultivated in 17 states and three union territories in the country, making India the largest producer of coconuts, accounting for 31 per cent of the world production.”Traditionally it was just coir that was the export item but during 2014-15 the export of coconut products (except coir and coir products) rose by 13.5 per cent to Rs 1,312.38 crore and in the last fiscal it went up to Rs 1,450 crore. In the country, the total area under coconut cultivation is 19.76 lakh hectares.