Agriculture forms the mainstay of the population of the district. The soil in the three natural divisions generally fall under three types.  In the highland region it is laterite. In the midland, the soil is a red ferruginous loam of laterite origin with an admixture of clay and sand. The coastal strip is sandy. Diversity of crops and heterogeneity in cultivation  are the key notes of agriculture here.

The eastern tract comprises of forests and hilly areas. The forests comprise of a variety of timber with teak and other plantations. The hilly areas are mostly cleared and put to private cultivation; the important crops being rubber, cashew and ginger.  In the skeletal plateau areas, cashew trees are cultivated, while in some patches, arecanut, pepper and cocoa are grown. In the coastal tract, paddy, coconut, arecanut, cashew, tobacco, vegetable and tapioca are cultivated.

Compared to total production of state, district share is -

  • Tobacco - 100%
  • Arecanut - 26%
  • Cashew nut - 16%

Production data (1997-98)

  • Agricultural production (million tonnes)     : 0.164
  • Food grain production (million tonnes)       : 0.015
  • Non food grain production (million tonnes) : 0.149
The important crops raised and their extent in the district
Crops Area in Hectares Production (Tonnes)
Coconut 55,271 402 nuts/ha
Cashew 22,992 10,046
Rubber 21,265 21,669
Arecanut 12,092 22,517
Paddy 7,986 14,905
Pepper 5,742 998
Vegetables 3,126 Crop Area
Tapioca 1,280
Banana 792
Pulses 389
Ginger 129
Sweet Potato 78
Oil Seeds 54
Tobacco 44


Canals 466
Tanks 6680
Wells  12572
Minor Irrigation 452
Lift Irrigation 249
Others 15111

Land Holding Pattern (1990-91)

Average size of holding  - 0.469 ha

Size of Holding No. of Holding Area (ha)
Less than 1 Ha 143609 38435
Between 1 & 2ha 17888 24039
Above 2 ha 8142 26508

Land use pattern


Area in Hectares

Forest Area 5,625
Land put to non-agricultural use 19,758
Barren & uncultivable 8,562
Permanent pastures and grazing land ---
Land under miscellaneous tree crops 4,568
Cultivable waste 13,308
Fallow other than current fallow 1,319
Current fallow 3,228
Net sown area 139,765
Area sown more than once 8,770
Total cropped area (gross) 148,535
Net irrigated area ---
Gross irrigated area ---



The Central Plantation Crops Research Institute is an establishment having national importance. With headquarters at Kudlu, five kms. north of Kasargod, the CPCRI has regional stations at Kayamkulam, Vittal and Kozhikode. Its research centres are at Peechi, Palode, Hirehally, Appangala, Mohithnagar and Kehikuchi. There are seed farms at Kidu and Sathigode, one field station at Thrissur and a World Coconut Germplasm Centre at Sipighat. The objectives of the CPCRI are to serve as national forum for improving genetic potential of plantation crops, to conduct basic and applied research on various aspects of these crops, to co-ordinate research works being done by other institutions and agencies in the country, to serve as an information centre on all matters pertaining to these crops, to produce genetically superior planting materials and to carry out all India coordinated cropping improvement project on coconut, arecanut, spices and cashew nut. CPCRI was established in 1970 by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. Research is carried out on various branches of Agricultural Sciences such as Gardening, soil chemistry, plant production, microbiology, plant diseases, cattle rearing, pisci culture, etc.

TxD, Mangala arecanut, new species of cardamom, turmeric and cashew, mixed crop and multi-crop system, etc. are some of the contributions of the CPCRI for the development of agriculture. The most remarkable venture is tissue culture in coconut. Research on various diseases of coconut, areacanut, cashew, pepper and field crops has given better yields.

Technology Assessment and refinement through Institution Village Linkage

CPCRI is one of the ICAR institute implementing the NATP project on Technology Assessment and refinement through Institution Village Linkage which is having emphasis on ensuring farmer participation in agro eco system analysis, identification and prioritization of problems and deciding appropriate technological interventions. Under the project different interventions have been implemented in farmers in different micro farming situations.

Agricultural Technology Information Centre

Agricultural Technology Information Centre (ATIC) is established at CPCRI, Kasaragod to provide the required technology information, diagnostic and advisory services and supply of quality planting material to farmers through a single window delivery system.

Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK)

The Krishi Vigyan Kendras functioning under CPCRI at Kasaragod and Kayankulam cater to the training needs of farmers of Kasaragod and Alappuzha Districts respectively. Farmers are immensely benefited through the vocational training programmes, front line demonstrations and on farm testing in the farmers fields and other technology transfer activities organised by the KVKs.

Production and distribution of planting materials

Quality planting materials of coconut, arecanut and cocoa are produced and distributed to farmers from the various centres of CPCRI. Farmers can write to CPCRI in advance for seedlings and can procure the same in person on intimation.

Consultancy Services

The Institute offers project consultancies to individuals on nominal charges on the establishment and maintenance of gardens of coconut, arecanut and cocoa, farming systems, pests and disease management and post harvest technology.

Library and Information Centre

CPCRI library has a collection of 50,000 documents pertaining to palms and Cocoa and subscribes to 225 journals.  All documents of the library are classified, catalogued and indexed and the process of computerization using Library software is in progress.  Library at the Headquarters and at regional stations provide documentation services to scientists, research workers, students, farmers and personnel from plantation crops industry.