Scaling up of Replanting and Rejuvenation of Coconut Gardens (S-R&R)

The prevalence of old and senile palms, poor genetic base of the planting material under cultivation, over populated stands of both coconut and other trees in the homestead, poor management attention given to the crop and severe incidence of pest and diseases are the major reasons for the low productivity. One of the strategies to vitalize the coconut industry is to improve the general agricultural base with large scale rejuvenation of the coconut gardens.

Hence this project is for improving productivity through a programme of cutting and removing the old, senile, unproductive and disease advanced palm population, replanting with quality seedlings and rejuvenation of the existing gardens through an integrated package of practices.

Major components of the programme and the rate of assistance

  1. Cutting and removal of old, senile, unproductive and disease advanced palms with a compensation of Rs.13000/- per palm (i.e. for the first 20 palms @ Rs.500/- and the remaining palms @ Rs.250/- limited to 12 palms per ha).
  2. Rejuvenation of existing gardens through integrated management practices @ Rs.15000/ha for 2 years @ Rs.7500/- per ha.
  3. Assistance for replanting @ Rs.20 per seedling.
  4. Implementation, Monitoring, Evaluation, Training etc.

Cutting and Removal

  1. Cutting and removal of all old, senile, unproductive and disease advanced palms.
  2. A subsidy @ Rs.500 per palm for the first 20 palms, Rs.250 per palm for subsequently removed palms, subject to a maximum of Rs.13,000/ha shall be provided to the farmers for cutting and removal of old, sanile, unproductive and disease advanced palms.
  3. The cutting and removal of disease affected palms in the eleven districts of Kerala .

REJUVENATION

Rejuvenation of the existing coconut palms by Integrated Management

Integrated management practices involving the following are essential:

  1. Balanced nutrition through fertilizer application
  2. Irrigation and drainage
  3. Soil and moisture conservation
  4. Growing of green manure cover crops
  5. Application of organic manure including enriched organics
  6. Intercultural operation including weed control
  7. Need based plant protection measures preferably with botanicals and bio-agents
  8. Regulation of shade and maintaining optimum palm population and
  9. Promotion of inter / mixed cropping.

For adoption of Integrated management practices a subsidy of Rs.15000/ha will be provided in two installments of Rs.7500/- each. The eligibility for availing assistance under this component is a maximum 4 ha per beneficiary.

Assistance for Replanting

Cutting and removal of advanced disease affected and senile palms will be followed by a systematic replanting programme, which is aimed at 50% replantation to maintain optimum and sustainable density. A subsidy @ Rs.20/- per seedling will be provided.

Implementation of the Project

The project will be implemented by the Board in association with the concerned Department of Agriculture

  1. The programme will be implemented in a farmer participatory mode in contiguous areas within Panchayats in identified Districts, for visible impact.
  2. The programme will be implemented through CPS/CPF/CPC.
  3. A base-line survey will be carried out in a farmer participatory mode covering all holdings in the project area. The palms for cutting and removal will be identified by the farmers themselves and verified by the CPS/CPF leaders and approved by the local Agriculture Officer/ the Board’s officials.
  4. Based on the information in the base line survey, the officials of the Board shall facilitate the formulation of the project report by the clusters.
  5. The project reports of individual clusters shall be consolidated into one report at the Panchayat level/Municipal level by the local Agriculture Officer and presented to the Area Development Committee.
  6. The project report shall be recommended by the Area Development Committee, chaired by the President of the local Self Government Institution. The projects so approved by the Area Development Committees shall be consolidated by the Joint Director of Agriculture / District Agri. Officer and forwarded to the State Level Committee/ any other Committee constituted by the State Government.
  7. The Committee constituted by the State Government shall scrutinize the project reports and recommend eligible project reports to the Board.
  8. For the rejuvenation programme, the CPS /CPF may be linked to a credit institution for providing inputs for the rejuvenation programme.

Inspections

  1. Inspection of the gardens will be done by the implementing officers of the area along with members of the Area Development Committee/Board Officers.
  2. First inspection will be done soon after receipt of applications from the farmers after which the trees will be marked and inspected by the agriculture officer/Board officers for verification of the marked palms.
  3. Second inspection will be done by local agriculture officer/Board officer/ District Collectorate Officer after completion of cutting and removal of the palms as per the approved action plan. Completion of first inspection and satisfactory report thereof entitles the applicant to receive subsidy @ Rs.500/palm removed subject to a maximum of Rs.13,000/ha.
  4. The third stage inspection will be done by the Local Agriculture Officer/Board Officials soon after receipt of applications from the beneficiaries regarding the completion of activities under the rejuvenation programme. Completion of this inspection and satisfactory report thereof shall entitle the applicant to receive the second installment of subsidy limited to Rs. 7500/ha or 25% of the input cost as envisaged in the action plan whichever is less.
  5. On completion of replanting with quality seedling and on receipt of report thereof, fourth stage inspection will be made. Satisfactory replanting entitles the applicant to receive the replanting subsidy @ Rs. 20 per seedling.
  6. Fifth stage inspection will be done soon after receiving of applications from the beneficiaries regarding the completion of integrated management activities for the 2nd year of operation as per action plan. Completion of this inspection and satisfactory report thereof shall entitle the applicant farmer to receive the 4th installment of subsidy limited to 25% of the cost of inputs or Rs.7500/ha whichever is
  7. less.
  8. At least 10% of the palms removed and the rejuvenated area shall be inspected directly by the Board.

Monitoring of the Project

  1. Implementation of project will be closely monitored at the level of ward/CPS by Area Development Officer, at Panchayat level by the Panchayati Raj Institutions, by the Local Body in municipal area, at the state level by the State Government and by Coconut Development Board at the national level.
  2. There shall be a State Level Committee, under the chairmanship of Agri. Production Commissioner / Secretary (Agriculture). At the National Level the project shall be monitored by a committee chaired by D.O.
  3. The project will be reviewed by external consultants, for concurrent monitoring. A mid-term evaluation will be conducted for suggesting mid-term corrections. Final evaluation of the scheme will be undertaken in the final year of the implementation.

Eligibility criteria for cutting and removal

Activities eligible for subsidy

  1. Cutting and removal of old, unproductive, diseased and senile coconut palms and field sanitation.
  2. Replanting with disease tolerant talls, hybrids and dwarf cultivars to maintain optimum palm population viz. 160-175 palms/ha.
  3. Rejuvenation of the coconut gardens by adopting integrated management practices as recommended by CPCRI or SAU’s

Eligibility Criteria

  1. All farmers in contiguous areas in CPS/ ward/Panchayat shall be eligible for assistance.
  2. The cluster formed at ward level shall be transformed to coconut producer society with the existing byelaws and shall be registered with the Coconut Development Board.
  3. Applicant should be the owner cultivator of the land
  4. Assistance under the scheme will be limited to 4 ha per farmer.

Conditions to be satisfied by applicants for cutting and Replanting

  1. The palms identified for cutting and removal in the cluster should be yielding less than 10 nuts / year.
  2. The palms to be cut and removed should be clearly marked.
  3. The palms identified by the CPS for removal will be approved by the local Agriculture Officer.
  4. Cutting and removal of the palm identified should be completed within 3 months of the approval. The time limit can be relaxed by the State Government if there is sufficient justification to be communicated to the DO.
  5. The applicant should use only quality coconut seedlings for replanting. The seedlings should be procured from nurseries of State Department of Agriculture/ Horticulture or State Agricultural Universities/ CDB/ CPCRI or private nurseries assisted by CDB/ State Dept.
  6. While replanting the palm population should not exceed 175/ha subject to the limitation of topography.
  7. Replacement planting/replanting in all cases should be completed within 12 months of the uprooting.
  8. Prior to commencement of replanting the soil/pits should be made suitable for replanting.
  9. Soil testing should be carried out through recognized soil testing labs.

Conditions to be followed for Rejuvenation

  1. The proposed garden for rejuvenation should not be an abandoned garden (or) should not belong to an absentee land lord.
  2. The existing palms in the garden should be potentially healthy for being rejuvenated.
  3. The area to be rejuvenated will be surveyed and all the basic data of the garden/farmer will be recorded.
  4. Farmers in the CPS will be linked to credit institutions for availing credit facilities.