The Agronomy and Economy of Important Tree Crops of the Developing World


  • K.P. Prabhakaran Nair, Distinguished Visiting Scientist, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India

Major tree crops contribute substantially to the economy of many developing countries on the Asian, African and Latin American continents. For example, coffee is the main revenue earner for Kenya. This book provides a comprehensive review of the agronomy, botany, taxonomy, genetics, chemistry, economics, and future global prospects of a range of crops that have great food, industrial and economic value such as cocoa, coffee, cashew, oil palm and natural rubber.
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Professionals, researchers, students, and government involved in agronomy, crop and soil sciences and plant science.


Book information

  • Published: May 2010
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-384677-8

Table of Contents


1. Arecanut

The agronomy of Arecanut

Arecanut Pathology

Arecanut Entomology

Arecanut Nematology

Harvesting and Processing of Arecanut

A peep into Arecanut’s future

2. Cashewnut

History, evolutionary origin and distribution of cashew

Economic Botany of Cashew

The genetic improvement of the cashew plant

Establishing and managing a cashew orchard

Manuring a cashew orchard

Controlling the pests and diseases in Cashew plantations

Cashew end products

Cashew Kernel

Cashew Kernel Peel

Cashewnut Shell Liquid (CNSL)

Cashew shell cake

Value added products

3. The Coconut Palm

The evolution of coconut along the drifting coastlines

Human influence on coconut evolution

Botany of coconut


The trunk

Cytogenetics of Coconut

Source of diversity

Characterization of the genome of the coconut palm

Constraints in coconut breeding

Hybrids and their future

Commercial production of hybrid seeds

Agronomy of coconut


Coconut-based mixed cropping systems and their management

Seed and Seedling management

Germination rate

Polybag seedlings

Seedling selection

Field management

Productive Palms

Adaptation to Biotic factors

The Range of Coconut Pests

Adaptation in coconut palm

A devastating virus

Adaptating the coconut to market needs

Yield potential of the coconut palm

Quality traits

The fatty acid mix

Coconut as a food item

Research and development in coconut production

Global coordination

National Research Centers

Research in India and Sri Lanka

Research in the second half of the 20th century

A peep into the future of coconut

Protection of the Production base

Advances in Processing Technology

Contact information for research centers and institutions

4. Cinchona

Origin and Uses

Characteristics and Chemistry of Plantation Species

Extraction, Production and Trade

Research: Development of Improved Cultivation Practices

Diseases and Pests

Biotechnological Interventions

Future Outlook

5. Cocoa

Origin and Spread

Area and Production

Germplasm Collection

Crop Improvement and Management


Field Maintenance

Flowering and Fruit Set

Plant Protection


Primary Processing

Secondary Processing

Research and Development Organizations

Manufacturers of Cocoa Products

Future Outlook

6. Coffee

Historic Background

Genetic Resources

Breeding and Selection

Breeding Programs

Field Management



Effects of Consumer Needs on Adaptation

Research and Development Organizations

Future Prospects

7. Oil Palm


Origin, History and Distribution

Taxonomy and Botany of Oil Palm

Growing Conditions

Germplasm Collection

Germplasm Characterization

Genetic Improvement Through Breeding and Selection

Oil Palm Tissue Culture

Pests and Diseases

Oil Palm Plantations and the Environment

Future Outlook

8. Rubber


Natural Rubber: Its Value to Mankind

Orign and Distribution

Area, Production and Productivity

World Trade in Natural Rubber


Physiology of Latex Flow

Tapping of the Rubber Tree

Latex Biochemistry and Rubber Production

Genetic Improvement

Genetic Studies

Genetic Base and Germplasm Resources

Biotechnological Interventions

Crop Management Under Different Cropping Systems

Diseases and Pests

Technological Developments

Eco-Friendliness of Rubber

Research and Development Organizations

Future Prospects

9. Tea

Origin and History

The Practices of Tea Consumption

The Botany of Tea

Taxonomy and Genetics

Growing Conditions

Nutrient Reqirements

Nursery Practices

Crop Management

Propagation and Genetic Improvement of Tea Stocks

The Evolution of Rational Pest and Disease Management

The Variations in Tea Manufacture

Tea Production and the Global Trade

Value Addition and Product Diversification

Research and Development Institutions for Tea

The Future Outlook for Tea

10. Wattle

Types of Wattle

Growing Conditions

Utility of Bark and Wood and Maintaining Soil Fertility


Precessing of Bark

Pests and Diseases