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| Last Updated:: 16/02/2021

Oil Seeds of Kerala


Common Name: Coconut

Scientific NameCocos nucifera

Description:  Coconut requires an equatorial climate with high humidity. The ideal mean annual temperature is 27ºC with 5-7º diurnal variation. The palm does not withstand prolonged spells of extreme variations.Awell-distributed rainfall of 1300-2300 mm per annum is preferred.  Coconut is grown in different soil types such as laterite, coastal sandy, alluvial, and also in reclaimed soils of the marshy lowlands. It tolerates salinity and a wide range of pH (from 5.0-8.0). The different cultivars of coconut includes WestCoastTall (WCT), LakshadweepOrdinary (Chandrakalpa), PhilippinesOrdinary (Kerachandra), AndamanOrdinary, Java,CochinChina,Kappadam and Komadan. The cultural practices have to be adopted to suit the varying climatic and soil conditions. Coconut produces nuts round the year. Therefore, adequate supply of water is essential for its unhindered growth. Soil moisture is essential for the absorption of nutrients by roots. Moisture stress leads to stunted growth, drooping of leaves, immature nut fall and decreased yield.



Common Name: Groundnut

Scientific Name: Arachis hypogaea

Description: Groundnut appears to have originated in Brazil in South America. The crop belongs to the family Leguminoseae. It is an annual growing to a height of 30-60 cm with angular hairy stem which haserect or spreading branches.It has deep taproot system with root nodules.Leaves occur alternate, one at each node. Leaves are pinnate with two pairs of ovate leaflets.The flowers are borne at leaf axils. Petals yellow in colour. Eight to ten stamens form a monadelphous bundle. Flowers are self-pollinated. After pollination perianth withers and at the base of the ovary a meristematic region grows into a stalk-like peg.The peg pushes the ovary into the soil. The fruit is an indehiscent pod containing 3-5 seeds. Groundnut can be cultivated as a floor crop in coconut gardens, as an intercrop with tapioca and as a catch crop after second crop paddy with irrigation. The crop is grown best in sandy loam and loam soils. The different varieties includes TMV-2 (bunch type), TMV-7(bunch type), TG-3 (bunch type),TG-14 (bunch type),spanish improved, sneha (bunch type),snigtha (bunch type). The crop is generally grown as a rainfed crop. If dry spell occurs one irrigation should be given at pod development stage.


Common Name: Oil Plam

Scientific Name:  Elaeis guineensis

Description:  The oil palm tree is a tropical plant which commonly grows in warm climates at altitudes of less than 1,600 feet above sea level. The species, Elaeis oleifera (H.B.K) Cortes is native of America; andthe species Elaeis guineensis Jacq. which originated in the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa (hence its scientific name) is better known as the African oil palm. This tree produces one of the most popular edible oils in the world-a versatile oil of superb nutritional value. It is the most prolific of all oil plants and in commercial terms the one which offers major prospects of development.

Primary roots grow downwards from the base of the palm and radiate outwards in a more or less horizontal direction close to the surface of the ground. Their length and depth depend on the type of soil. Its stem stands straight in the form of an inverted cone. In the wild it may grow to heights of one hundred feet and more. The stems of young and adult plants are wrapped in leaves which give them a rather rough appearance. The older trees have smooth stems apart from the scars left by the leaves which have withered and fallen off.30-40 leaves are seen on the crown of the palm.

Each leaf has short thorns at its base and about 250 leaflets in an irregular pattern on both sides of the petiole. Oil palm has both male and female flowers on the same tree. It produces thousands of fruits, in compact bunches whose weight varies between 10 and 40 kilograms. Each fruit is almost spherical, ovoid or elongated in shape. Generally the fruit is dark purple, almost black before it ripens and orange red when ripe. The fruit has a single seed-the palm kernel-protected by a wooden endocarp or shell, surrounded by a fleshy mesocarp or pulp. This fruit produces two types of oil: one extracted from the pulp (palm oil) and the other from the kernel (palm kernel oil).

Oil palm grows best in areas with a mean maximum temperature of 30-32 ºC and on an average of at least five hours of sunlight. It can be grown in areas, which receive well-distributed annual rainfall of 200 cm or more. However, it can tolerate two to four months of dry spell. The oil palm grows on wide range of tropical soils. The adult palms can withstand occasional waterlogging, but frequently waterlogged, extremely sandy and hard lateritic soils should be avoided.



Common Name: Seasame

Scientific Name:  Seasumum indicum

Description: Sesamum belongs to the family Pedaliaceae.It is annual herb growing to a height of 0.5-2.0 m. The plant has tap root system with erect stem which is square in cross section.The leaves on the stem maybe opposite,alternate or mixed.The inflorescence is a receme. The flowers arise in the leaf axils. The fruit is a capsule having two or four carpels.Seeds are small, ovate, slightly flattened and the colour may be black, white or brown. Sesame grows in well-drained, sandy loam soils. Coarse sandy soils and soils of alkaline and saline nature are not suited for the crop. The different varieties includes Kayamkulam 1, Kayamkulam 2(Thilothama), ACV-1 (Soma), AVC-2 (Surya), ACV-3 (Thilak), Thilathara (CST 785 x B14), OMT-1165 and Thilarani.



 Source: Kissan Kerala