MANGALORE: An agriculture incubation centre for supporting budding entrepreneurs interested in manufacturing value-added products from farm produces is to be set up by the Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), Kasaragod in the next two months.
CPCRI Director George V. Thomas told The Hindu that the institute would provide technical knowhow, guidance and training to the entrepreneurs.
They would have to pay a nominal fee to the institute for it.
The director said the entrepreneurs could make use of the laboratory, machinery and scientific assistance at the CPCRI for manufacturing marketable products. The institute has already procured machines required for the centre. Initially the centre would function from a temporary building, Mr. Thomas said.
He said some entrepreneurs have their own ideas of making value-added products. These entrepreneurs often start working on their ideas but dropped it mid-way if anything went wrong, due to lack of guidance or equipment for research and development. It is in this context that CPCRI’s incubation centre would be useful, Mr. Thomas said.
The director said that the institute has value-added products from coconut such as virgin coconut oil by developing an indigenous technology and coconut chips. The virgin coconut oil extracted from fresh coconut kernels has export potential.
“It has medicinal and antioxidant properties,” he said.
The director said the institute recently released a high-yielding new arecanut variety called “Madhura Mangala”, a variety of medium height palm.
The speciality of this variety was that farmers growing both ‘chali’ (white arecanut) and ‘kempadike’ (red arecanut) could grow them.
The red arecanut is prepared by harvesting tender arecanut and white arecanut by harvesting fully grown arecanut.
He said that a farmer could harvest three kg of tender arecanut and 3.6 kg of white arecanut from the “Madhura Mangala”per annum.
About 2,000 seedlings of “Madhura Mangala” were available for sale at the Vitla (Bantwal taluk) station of the institute.