1972-2010~Education~Research~Extension~37 Years of finest edges in quality and excellence































Dr. E. V. Nybe

Professor & Head



  • Estd. as a Statutory Department of KAU in 1972

  • M.Sc. Programme started in 1976

  • Ph. D. Programme started in 1979 

  • Externally aided research programmes started in 1981



Teaching, research and extension with respect to plantation, spice, medicinal and aromatic crops




Dr. E. V. Nybe, Professor & Head

Dr. Alice Kurian, Professor

Dr. P. V. Nalini,  Professor

Dr. V.S. Sujatha, Professor

Dr. N. Mini Raj, Professor

Dr. M. Asha Shankar, Professor

Dr. B. Suma, Associate Professor  


Supporting Staff


Sri. N. T. Satheesh Babu, Farm Supervisor (Gr II)
Sri. P. K. Kumaran, Farm Assistant


 Current Activities 




UG Programme : Offers 2 courses for B.Sc. (Ag.)
M.Sc. Programme : Offers 16 courses (7 core & 9 optional) for M.Sc. (Hort.) & M.Sc. (Ag.)
Ph. D. Programme : Offers 9 courses for Ph. D.
M.Sc. (Hort.) students at present: 3
Ph. D. students at present : Nil




 Externally Aided projects – Concluded

  1. ICAR Ad hoc project – Species relationship in the genus Piper  and scope of related taxa in the improvement of  Piper nigrum L.

  2. ICAR Ad hoc project- Evaluation and selection of medicinal plants for a coconut based cropping system

  3.  Assessment of hill top agriculture at Vattavada  Panchayat in the high ranges – KRPLLD- CDS

  4. ICAR Ad hoc project- Hybridisation in ginger – Zingier officinale  Rosc. Through in vitro pollination

  5. DBT collaborative project – Establishment of germplasm bank for ayurvedic medicinal plants

  6. KSCSTE project- Domestication studies on Jeevakom (Malaxis rheedii Sw.)

  7. KSCSTE project – Enhancing yield and quality of vanilla  ( Vanilla planifolia  Andrews ) through improved technologies

  8. Integrated programme for development of spices- Directorate of arecanut , spices and medicinal plants

         Technology mission on black pepper funded by Govt. of India

  • Identification of location specific varieties of black pepper

  • Testing of released pepper varieties in various pepper tracts of Kerala

  • Identification of low input responsive varieties in relation to local technology

  • Breeding for resistance to Phytophthora foot rot in black pepper

  • Induction of variation through tissue culture and evaluation of variants for Phytophthora foot rot tolerance / resistance in black pepper

  • ICAR Adhoc project -Micropropagation and development of seedless Malabar tamarind through in vitro techniques

         On going externally aided projects

  • National Horticulture Mission on Spices – Directorate of Arecanut, Spices and Medicinal Plants

  • DBT project on Induction of variation in vitro and screening for disease resistance and quality in ginger   

  • Improvement of induced polyploids in ginger through in vitro techniques

  • On farm evaluation and characterization of somaclones in ginger

  • Domestication studies on jeevakom (Seibenfia rheedii Sw.Szkch.) - Part II

  • Empowering tribal women through domestication  of medicinal plants

  • Exploration of bisexual variant in developing high yielding varieties in Piper longum

University research projects      :    15

Total ongoing research projects :    21



  • Training programmes on ‘Spices production technology’, ‘Vanilla cultivation’ and ‘Medicinal plants cultivation’

  • Seminars / Workshops / AIR & Doordharsan Programmes / Exhibitions

  • Publication of books / Technical bulletins / Popular articles

  • Farm Advisory Services on mandatory crops


  • Large scale production of planting materials of pepper, nutmeg, clove, vanilla and medicinal plants

  • National Horticulture Mission Projects on Spices, Medicinal and Aromatic plants

  • ICAR Seed Project on Spices

 Demonstration Plots


Demonstration-cum-instructional plots of coconut, arecanut, pepper, ginger, turmeric, vanilla, tree spices, tea, coffee, cocoa, oil palm, medicinal and aromatic plants are maintained



 Major Farm Products 


Coconut, Arecanut, Pepper, Turmeric, Kacholam etc.

Total reavune - Rs. 4.25 lakhs per year


 Achievements of the Department



M. Sc. students passed out : 60
Ph. D. students passed out : 24
Jawaharlal Nehru Award/Fellowship : 3
Young Scientist Award : 2


  • Released four high yielding, curcumin rich varieties of turmeric - Kanthi, Sobha, Sona and Varna

  • Released  7  improved varieties of medicinal plants ( Kacholam – Kasturi and Rajani;  Adapathiyan – Jeeva;  Chethikoduveli – Agni and Mridulla; Adalotakam – Ajagandhi and Vasika)

  • Collected, conserved and characterised the germplasm of pepper, turmeric, ginger and medicinal plants

  • Formulated a morphological key for identification of species of Piper

  • Studied in detail the growth, flowering, floral biology, fruit set and fruit development of cocoa, pepper, cardamom, nutmeg and adakodien

  • Studied the nutrient removal pattern in pepper, nutmeg and clove and documented the artificially induced nutrient deficiency symptoms 

  • Standardised protocols for in vitro propagation  of cashew, pepper, ginger, cardamom and important medicinal plants of the state

  • Reported somaclonal variation in pepper and ginger for yield, quality and tolerance to diseases

  • Developed the protocol for in vitro seed set and seed development in ginger

  • Developed high yielding autotetraploids in ginger and succeeded in in vitro hybridization of autotetraploids and diploids

  • Standardised techniques for callus and multiple shoot production in clove

  • Conducted biochemical studies on zygotic embryo of coconut which revealed its high regeneration potential

  • Standardised in vitro culture establishment, multiple shooting and rooting in garcinia

  • Developed techniques for breaking seed dormancy and in vitro seed germination in garcinia

  • Formulated an isoenzyme based classification for Piper and Curcuma

  • Standardised protocols for isolation of protoplast and genomic DNA and RAPD analysis in black pepper

  • Characterized Piper species using molecular markers (RAPD) 

  • Unravelled the expression of PR proteins and PR enzymes in black pepper in relation to Phytophthora foot rot tolerance

  • Developed the technique for inducing early intensive flowering and nut set in cashew by spraying paclobutrazol

  • Standardised technoques for in situ budding in nutmeg and modified forkert budding in cocoa

  • Developed the method for in situ production of mulching materials for ginger

  • Documented the medicinal wealth of Peechi forest and conducted detailed habit and habitat analysis

  • Documented the hill top agriculture at Vattavada and assessed the constraints

  • Standardised agrotechniques for the major medicinal plants of the state

  • Identified medicinal plants suitable for intercropping in coconut gardens

  • Carried out morphological and phytochemical investigations in Hypericum sp.

  • Standardised the protocol for berberine synthesis from callus of Coscinium fenestratum  and Tinospora cordifolia

  • Standardised protocol for callus induction and procedure for isolation and quantification of saponins from callus culture of Gymnema

  • Reported hypoglycaemic effect of the leaf extract of Gymnema


Plantation Crops and Spices Farm : 12.3 ha
Herbal Garden and Demonstration Plot : 1.0 ha
Pepper Field Unit : 2.0 ha
Total Experimental Area : 15.3 ha

 Laboratory and Other Facilities

Equipment such as research microscopes, stereo microscope, inverted microscope, refrigerated centrifuge, conductivity bridge, laminar flow, refrigerated shaker, electronic precision balances, SOCS plus, electrophoresis units, spectrophotometer, hot air ovens etc. Field structures include shade houses, mist chambers, field store etc.

Varieties Released by the Department


Dr. E.V. Nybe - Professor & Head

Age/Date of birth: 54 Years/02-12-1954

Sex: M/F: Male

Qualification: M.Sc. (Hort.), PhD

Field of Specialization: Horticulture  (Plantation Crops and Spices)

Contact details:

      Address : Eralil House, Mannuthy P.O., Thrissur-680651, Kerala

            Phone No. 0487-2370675 (Residence)

Mobile No. 09446437975

email : evnybe@yahoo.co.in

Brief write-up: Involved in teaching, research, extension and administration with respect to Plantation Crops & Spices since the last 32 years. Field of specialization and the area in which consultancy services could be provided is establishment and management of spices and plantation crop gardens with special emphasis on nutrient management. Presently working as HoD, Dept. of Plantation Crops & Spices and Executive Director, Virtual University for Agricultural Trade.

Dr. Alice Kurian - Professor

Age/Date of birth: 52 Years/ 28-5-1956

Sex: M/F: Female

Qualification: PhD in Horticulture

Field of specialization: Horticulture- Medicinal and aromatic plants and spices.

Contact details:

           Address: Karumathy House, University Nagar, KAU  P.O, Vellanikkara-680656

           Thrissur, Kerala

           Phone No. 0487-2371177 (Residence)

           Mobile No. 9495092960

           email : alicekurian111@yahoo.co.in.

Brief write-up: Major field of study includes crop improvement, ex situ conservation of genetic diversity and cropping system research in spices, medicinal and aromatic plants. Handles undergraduate and postgraduate courses in plantation crops, spices and medicinal and aromatic plants and imparts post graduate guidance.

Dr.P.V.Nalini - Professor

Age/Date of birth: 49 years/ 1-5-1959

Sex: M/F: Female

Qualification: PhD

Field of specialization: Horticulture (Plantation Crops)

Contact details:

      Present address: VI/7 Professors quarters, KAU P.O, Vellanikkara, Thrissur

      Permanent address: “Karthika”, Arukhizhaya, Manjeri P.O, Malappuram

                                      Phone (Residence): 0487-2371086

                                      Mobile: 9496406919

                                      email: nalmo@sify.com

Brief write up: Major field and study include crop improvement work on cashew, exsitu conservation and characterization of genetic diversity in cashew and also coconut. Canopy management (pruning) and propagation work on cashew. Handles UG and PG courses in Plantation Crops and Spices and imparts post graduate guidance.


 Dr. V.S. Sujatha - Professor

Age/Date of birth: 48 years/ 25-04-1960

Sex: M/F: Female

Qualification: PhD

Field of Specialization: Horticulture

Contact details:

      Address: Appu, Ollukkara, Mannuthy P.O, Thrissur-680651

            Phone (Residence): 0487-2370880

Mobile : 9447252829

email: sujabal85@yahoo.com

Brief write-up: Handles undergraduate and post graduate courses in Plantation Crops and Spices. Major area of research work include germplasm conservation, characterization and crop improvement in spices.

Dr. N. Mini Raj  - Professor

Age/Date of birth:49 years/ 21-04-1962

Sex: M/F: Female

Qualification: M.Sc horticulture, PhD

Field of Specialization: Medicinal plants

Contact details:

  Present address: Flat No.H2,KAU Teachers' Flat, Mannuthy P.O, Thrissur-680651

  Permanent address: “Paarijatham”, Mosque Road, Anjumana, Edappally P.O.,


                                 Phone (Residence): 0487-2375767

                     Mobile No. 9388673785

                     email: nminiraj@gmail.com

Brief write-up: Involved in academic, research, development and extension activities on spices, medicinal and aromatic plants. Ethnobotany, ecosystem research and domestication studies on medicinal plants are the priority areas.

Dr. M. Asha Sankar - Professor

Age/Date of birth: 49Years/ 02-05-1960

Sex: M/F: Female

Qualification: PhD in Horticulture

Field of Specialization: Horticulture- Medicinal plants

 Contact details:

      Address: Puthezhath House, Varadiyam, Avanur P.O, Thrissur

Phone No. 0487-2211334 (Residence)

Mobile No. 9847857612

email: ashasnkr@gmail.com

Brief write-up: Handles undergraduate and postgraduate courses in plantation crops, spices and medicinal and aromatic plants. Major area of research work include exploiting in vitro techniques and conservation and quality enhancement in medicinal plants and pursuing crop improvement and crop management practices in annual spices.

 Dr. B. Suma - Associate Professor

Age/Date of birth: 44 years/ 21-05-1964

Sex: M/F: Female

Qualification: PhD in Horticulture

Field of Specialization: Horticulture- Biotechnology- spices

Contact details:

      Address: Mulluvathukkal, Kozhukully P.O, Moorkanikkara, Thrissur

            Phone No. 0487-2317670 (Residence)

Mobile No. 9495463927

email : sudarsansuma@yahoo.com

Brief write-up: Handles undergraduate and post graduate courses in plantation crops and spices. Major area of

research work includes genetic transformation of crop plants with specialization in spices.


Contact address

Professor & Head

Department of Plantation Crops & Spices

College of Horticulture

Kerala Agricultural University

KAU (P.O.),Thrissur Dt. 680 656

Kerala , India.

Phone: 0487 2370822 ( Extn.358)





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