The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) had its genesis from establishment of an Agricultural School at Saidapet, Madras, Tamil Nadu, as early as 1868 and it was later relocated at Coimbatore.
Paddy is the major food crop in Tamil Nadu. Intensive research on crop improvement and technology development is being carried out in Paddy based research station in Tamil Nadu. Short duration, medium duration, long duration, fine grain, medium slender varieties, bold varieties, flood tolerant, drought tolerant, herbicide tolerant, pest & disease resistant paddy verities are being developed and disseminated to the farming community for adoption.
Maize and Sorghum crops are also cultivated in significant areas in Tamil Nadu which give food security to people of India. High yielding varieties and technologies for these crops are being developed and transferred to the farming community for the adoption.
Nutri Millets otherwise called minor millets are also cultivated in significant areas in Tamil Nadu. Cumbu, Ragi, Samai, Varagu, Kuthiraivalli, Panivaragu and Thenai are focus nutri cereal crops in Tamil Nadu which takes care of nutrient security in India. Centre of Excellence for Millets and other millets based research stations are carrying out the research on nutri millets varietal and technologies for further improving the productivity and quality of the nutri millets.
Pulses crops are being cultivated significantly in dry tract of Tamil Nadu. Black gram, Green Gram, Cowpea, Horse gram, Red gram, and Lablab are major pulse crops in Tamil Nadu. National Pulse Research Centre and other pulses crop based research stations under TNAU are taking care of development of new varieties, technologies and post-harvest technologies for the benefit of the farming community and other stakeholders.
Oil seed crops namely Groundnut, Coconut, Sesame, Sunflower and Castor are cultivated in significant areas in Tamil Nadu which takes care of cooking oil requirement in our country. Oilseed Research Station and other oilseed based research station under TNAU is taking care of development of varieties and technologies for improving the productivity and quality of the oilseed crop produces.
Mango and Banana are the leading fruit crops in Tamil Nadu accounting for over 81% of the total fruit production. Mango holds nearly 53% of total fruits area. Papaya, Guava, Acid lime, Sapota, Grapes, Ber, Jack Fruit, Jamun, Amla are also cultivated in significant areas in Tamil Nadu. Four Horticultural Colleges and Research Institutes and horticultural based research stations are taking care of release of new varieties, technologies and post-harvest technologies in fruit crops.
Brinjal, Tomato, Bhendi, Gourds, Chillies, Carrot, Beet root, Radish, Tapioca, Onion, Moringa and other green vegetables are major vegetables crops being cultivated in Tamil Nadu.
Cashew Nut, Coconut, Arecanut, Nutmeg and oil palm are cultivated as Nut crop in Tamil Nadu.
TNAU has so far released 25 high yielding fodder crop varieties/ hybrids including four national (All India) varieties for general cultivation. Among them, Cumbu Napier hybrid CO (CN) 5, Guinea grass CO (GG) 3, Multicut fodder sorghum CO (FS) 29/ CO 31 and Lucerne CO 2 are very popular among the farmers of Tamil Nadu and neighboring states.