The decision of the international coconut body to audit gene banks across the globe is likely to help the gene bank located in India, according to P Chowdappa, Director of the Kasaragod-based Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI).
The International Coconut Gene Bank for South Asia is located at CPCRI’s research centre at Kidu in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. The Kidu gene bank is among the five banks set up under the Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT).
The other gene banks are in Indonesia, Brazil, Ivory Coast and Papua New Guinea. COGENT, which has 39 member-countries, promotes collaboration for the conservation and use of coconut genetic resources across the globe.
Chowdappa told BusinessLine that the 19th steering committee meeting of COGENT has taken a decision to audit all the five gene banks worldwide. He added that the gene bank at Kidu is performing well compared to the other four gene banks. While the Indonesian gene bank is facing problems due to urbanisation, the other three gene banks have been affected by diseases.
Noting that Kidu is the only bank devoid of any pest or diseases, he said its better performance in various areas may help it get further funding, which can be used to develop the gene bank.
Of the 120 hectares at Kidu, 100 hectares are under coconut cultivation. The centre has 453 coconut germplasms. Of them, 95 are exotic. Chowdappa said that the Kidu research centre generated around ?1.3 crore in revenue last year.
Source: The Hindu Businessline