Cropping system

Crop scenario

  1. Tapioca

Tapioca is an important tropical tuber crop in India, it is cultivated mainly in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Kerala and Tamil Nadu account for about 80 per cent of the total acreage of the crop in India. In Tamil Nadu, tapioca is cultivated in an area of 1.96 lakh hectares with the production of 38.81 lakh tonnes. It is mainly cultivated in Salem, Namakkal, Erode, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Dharmapuri and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu. Tapioca finds application as a raw material for starch extraction in India. Over 800 starch and sago factories spread over the Salem, Erode, Namakkal and Dharmapuri districts of Tamil Nadu are flourishing in the manufacture of starch and sago. Salem district stands first in area and production in Tamil Nadu because of the soil and climatic condition prevailing in this district. Tapioca starch finds application principally for sizing of yarn textile industry and in paper industry.

Crop Improvement

  • Germplasm collection, conservation, characterization, cataloguing of different types   / cultivars of genetic resources of root and tubers in their respective regions.
  • Seedling evaluation programme.
  • IET on Cassava mosaic resistant lines
  • URT on Cassava
  • URT on Cassava mosaic resistant lines
  • Breeding materials developed from true cassava seeds

Crop Production

  • Integrated nutrient management in Cassava
  • Effect of pruning on tuber yield of Cassava
  • Standardization of fertigation through micro irrigation for Cassava
  • Low input technology for cassava production
  • Integrated weed management in cassava
  • Screening for drought and salt tolerance
  • Drought and salt management
  • Cassava tonic demonstration

Crop Protection

  • Survey and surveillance of pest and disease of tuber crops


In cassava, 364 entries of available at Tapioca and Castor Research Station. Research on Tapioca and Castor crops are being carried out at Tapioca and Castor Research Station, Yethapur both under irrigated and rainfed situations under TCRS- main scheme.


In coordination with Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Trivandrum, Tapioca and Castor Research Station is conducting field trials on tapioca in and around Salem District.

2. Castor

Castor is an important non-edible oilseed crop of India, having immense industrial and commercial value. India is the largest producer of castor in the world (7.7 lakh tonnes obtained from 7.86 lakh hectares, with 68 and 76 per cent share in the castor area and production, respectively) and earning nearly Rs.4000 crores of foreign exchange annually through export. Castor productivity in India is more than the world average and it ranks first among the major producing countries such as china and Brazil. Castor provides important industrial oil, which is completely biodegradable. Castor oil is used for deriving a number of industrial products viz., dye, detergents, plastics, printing ink, linoleum, patent leather, ointment, polishes, surface paints, adhesives, lubricants and hydraulic fluids. Castor oil contains 85-90 per cent of naturally occurring Ricinoleic acid which makes it economically important. Ricinoleic acid provides the viscosity and density to the Castor oil. The Castor cake is used in agriculture as organic manure as it is a rich source of nitrogen. In eri-silk producing areas, castor leave are fed to eri-silk worms. Castor oil is also widely used for its medicinal properties.

Tamil Nadu is an important castor growing state in India, with an area of 14,000 hectares. Major castor producing districts are Salem, Namakkal, Erode, Dharmapuri and Perambalur. It is note worthy to mention that the castor registered highest growth rate in terms of production and productivity during last two decades as compared to other agricultural crops. The spectacular progress in terms of area, production and productivity in castor is due to the development of hybrid castor.


All India Co-Ordinated Research Project on Oilseeds – Castor is functioning at Tapioca and Castor Research Station, Yethapur from April 1998 with the aim of promoting castor cultivation as pure crop and to carryout research work on castor.

Preliminary evaluation and identification of promising hybrid combinations.
184 new hybrids are developed and tested in the Preliminary Hybrids Trials.

Field trials are undertaken in crop improvement, crop production and crop protection aspects.

Current activities

Research trials are conducted in the following aspects

  • Cropping systems in tapioca and castor
  •  Spacing and Weed Management in castor and tapioca
  • Survey and monitoring of tapioca and castor pests and diseases and developing IPM techniques
  • Integrated Nutrient Management studies in tapioca and castor
  • Drip irrigation, farm machinery and processing technology for tapioca.


TNIAMP-Phase II is an integrated, multidisciplinary approach with the objective of improving water use efficiency and increasing agricultural productivity. TN-IAMP-Phase II Mettur-Noyyal Confluence is functioning at Tapioca and Castor Research Station since 2019. The Mettur to Noyyal Confluence sub basin lies in the western part of Tamilnadu. In the river Cauvery, the Mettur to Noyyal sub basin starts from Thoppaiyar and to ends at Noyyal confluence with 116 km long. The Cauvery is a perennial river fed mostly by the south west monsoon and supplemented by the North east monsoon. The major portion of the Mettur to Noyyal Confluence Sub basin flows in Salem, Erode, Namakkal and Dharmapuri Districts in Tamilnadu. The Sarabanga river confluence in the left bank of Cauvery river at 33km and the Bhavani river confluence in the right bank of Cauvery river at 42km in Mettur to Noyyal Confluence Sub basin. The objectives of TNIAMP-Phase II scheme are as follows.


  • Agricultural intensification by Improved production technology crop demonstrations.
  • Crop diversification with Millets, Pulses and Minor millets.
  • Climate resilient activity in all the intervention crops.
  • Reduce the inorganic fertilizers and pesticides as it affects the Soil health and Environment.
  • Information Education, Communication and Capacity Building activities.

Following are the components of TN- IAMP-Phase II Scheme.

S.No. Interventions Unit cost (Rs./ha) Total
1 Alternate Wetting and Drying method of Irrigation in rice 1000 380
2 Area Expansion and productivity enhancement of pulses under crop diversification in gap areas 5000 200
3 Introduction of castor hybrid in newer area as alternate crop in gap area 5000 260
4 Fall Army Worm Technology capsule to enhance the productivity of Maize 15000 225
5 Grafted Brinjal to enhance the productivity of Brinjal 50000 10
6 Production of vegetable under precision farming mode by adopting of IPM concept. 120000 20
7 Production of Banana under precision farming mode by adopting of IPM concept. 120000 20
8 Promotion of Pesticide Free Village/ Vegetables in sub-basins through climate resilient activity in model Bio Villages known as pesticide free Village. 2500 250
9 Area Expansion and productivity  enhancement of castor under precision farming mode in gap areas 120000 20
10 Demonstration of improved production techniques in cotton  with prime focus on improving productivity 5000 200
11 Production of tapioca under precision farming mode 120000 30