8th November 2023: Dr. Rajesh Kannan Megalingam, Head, ACORD center, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, ranked among the top 10 universities in India according to the NIRF 2023 rankings, announced the signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the Parachute Kalparvriksha Foundation (PKF) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The Amrita Coconut Research and Development (ACORD) Center, a pioneering research facility at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, will spearhead this collaborative effort, marking a significant step towards advancing coconut farming practices and improving the livelihoods of farmers and climbers through cutting-edge research and innovative methodologies.
The collaborative efforts will encompass student training and high-quality post-graduate research initiatives. PKF and ICAR-CPCRI will engage in comprehensive studies covering crop improvement, production, protection, as well as physiological, biochemical, and post-harvest technologies, along with social sciences. The Amrita Coconut Research and Development Center will contribute its expertise in academics and leverage cutting-edge technologies such as robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning (DL), drones, biotechnology, and various aspects of coconut farming including planting of saplings, tree maintenance, inspection, and monitoring, harvesting automation, and disease identification.
“ACORD is committed to pushing the boundaries of coconut research and development, and these partnerships with PKF and ICAR aim to amplify their impact. This will allow us to harness the power of innovation and cutting-edge technologies to drive positive change in coconut farming. Together, we are committed to improving the lives of farmers and climbers, advancing agricultural practices, and redefining the future of this vital industry.” said Dr. Rajesh Kannan Megalingam, ACORD, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.
The Parachute Kalparvriksha Foundation (PKF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the welfare of farmers, focusing on increasing agricultural yields. PKF’s programs provide invaluable training and support to farmers in areas such as nutrient management, pest and disease control, and water management. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) established the Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) in 1970, a vital component of the National Agricultural Research System. Initially focusing on coconut, arecanut, cocoa, cashew, oil palm, and spices, CPCRI expanded its mandate in 2023 to include Palmyra Palm. Today, CPCRI continues to be at the forefront of research in these critical crops.
This tripartite collaboration will revolutionize coconut farming practices in India and beyond, creating a positive impact on the lives of countless farmers and communities.