Regional Centre, Meppadi, Wayanad
Wayanad has got 12,000 ha of agricultural land of which more than 50% is used for raising cash crops. Coffee in Wayanad shares 65% of the total area. Other crops grown here are rice, ginger, turmeric, pepper, coconut, arecanut and vanilla. Tea is grown in approximately 6800 ha which includes 4800 ha under corporate sector and 2000 ha under small growers and cooperative societies. Wayanad wildlife sanctuary is home to many exotic species of plants and animals. Elephants, spotted deer, bison, tiger, leopard, wild boar etc. can be spotted here. Chembra peak is the highest peak in Wayanad with an elevation of 2100 m above MSL. The Edakkal caves located at 1000m have the New Stone Age pictorial writings, indicating the evidence of civilization that existed in this area in the prehistoric times.
Wayanad the “Green Paradise” is one of the loveliest hill stations of Kerala located at a height ranging from 700 to 1,800 m above mean sea level. It is a small hilly district situated in southern region of western ghats, a biodiversity “hot spot”. The richness of the plant diversity in this district is evidenced by the occurrence of more than 2000 species of flowering plants. The district has a minimum of 200 endemic species of flowering plants, which are restricted to the southern part of the Ghats (8º -13º N). The southern half of the Ghats is rich in both floral and faunal biodiversity in Wayanad.
The Regional Centre advises the estates located in the Wayanad district of Kerala and adjoining tea estates in Coorg on all aspects of tea cultivation and processing. The laboratory has equipments to analyse soils. Several experiments relating to planting, clonal selection, agronomy and irrigation are being conducted here. The high yielding clone TRF-1 was evaluated in the district. The centre also pays attention to the interests of small tea growers and tribal cooperatives in Wayanad.