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Coconut Palm - Redefined for Bioeconomy

Author Name: Dr C J Thampi | Format: Paperback | Genre : Business, Investing & Management | Other Details

What is wrong with the good old coconut palm? Nothing by itself, after all its the 'Kalpa Vriksha' of the state of Kerala that draws it very name from. But the humble palm happens to be the most wronged among all natural fibre crops in India. Reasons range from its wrong agricultural classification as an' oil crop of horticultural origin;' prioritisation as a food crop at the expense of its bio industrial credentials; total neglect of the husk that supplies coir fibre and pith to an industry employing lakhs of impoverished labour; to lack of R&D that would have helped raise its stakes in the state's agricultural economy. This holds a mirror to the situation prevailing even in the 93 growing countries, and calls for a serious probe on how stakeholders have chosen to look the other way even as the crop began to rot in India all these long years.

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Dr C J Thampi

C J Thampi was a renowned soil research scientist with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). He joined the Department of Forests and Agriculture, Government of India, in 1958, and is credited with having introduced soil conservation efforts in the remote Andaman & Nicobar Islands. In 1972, he joined the Regional Centre of the ICAR, Calcutta, as a Principal Scientist. In 1993, he took over as Commissioner of Kerala State Land Use Board in Thiruvananthapuram. Thampi was also the principal architect of an ICAR programme to revitalise coconut palm cultivation. He published at least 123 papers in prestigious journals, and was invited to speak at various forums in the UK, Australia, China, Hong Kong and the Philippines. He was elected Life member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London, in 2001, and made a National Fellow by the Soil Conservation Society of India in 2008. He passed away on June 3, 2023, and is survived by wife Madhuravalli Thampi, a gynaecologist, and son Aravind Thampi, a psychologist.