A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Posted 12:40 PM by Luigi
New coconut variety from India
The following has just appeared in the The Hindu newspaper's Farmers' Notebook feature.
Ideal tender coconut variety for small farms
By Our Agriculture Correspondent
SCIENTISTS AT the Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), Kasaragod, in Kerala have found that an orange dwarf variety with early flowering and fruiting traits is an ideal tender coconut.
"Our studies showed that Chowghat Orange Dwarf (COD) as the best tender coconut variety. It yields nuts, which contain on an average 350 ml sweet water each. The water (liquid endosperm) has 7.1 g total sugars per 100 ml, and the mineral composition accounts for 20,000 ppm (parts per million) of potassium and 20 ppm of sodium," said Dr. V. Arunachalam, Scientist (Horticulture), CPCRI.
For use as tender coconut the nuts have to be plucked when they are about seven to eight months after fertilization. The refreshing tender coconut water is a health drink, and it is one of the most important economic products of the coconut palm.
CPCRI initiated research to find the suitability of different coconut varieties for use as tender coconuts, and screened them for high yield potential, quantity of water, organoleptic taste of the water and meat, minerals, vitamins, total soluble solids and total sugars.
Based on the studies, Chowghat Orange Dwarf was adjudged the best, and it is recommended for commercial cultivation for harvesting tender coconuts, according to Dr. Arunachalam. COD is a dwarf variety characterised by compact internodes and early flowering and fruiting.
Well-managed COD palms come to flowering in three to four years after planting. Bearing commences from the fourth or fifth year. It yields 60 to 65 medium-sized nuts every year. It can be conveniently grown in home gardens as well as in small farms on a commercial scale by adopting a spacing of 7.5 m by 7.5m. The variety responds well to sound nutrient management. Liberal application of well rotten farmyard manure and a nutrient dose of 500 g of nitrogen, 320 g of phosphorus and 1200 g of potash for each tree in a year will prove to be highly rewarding. The recommended dose of nutrients should be applied in two splits to get good results, according to Dr. Arunachalam.
COD is a highly fragile variety and is susceptible to heavy winds, water stress and rhinoceros beetle attack.
Care should be taken to provide adequate soil moisture by incorporating suitable and locally available mulch to prevent water stress. High wind areas and drought-prone regions should be avoided. If planted in high wind-prone regions, good shelterbelts should be provided to minimise the damage due to winds.
This variety should not be planted closer to compost pits, as it is highly prone to the damage by rhinoceros beetles.
Farmers should take particular care to ensure that rhinoceros beetles are eliminated and their breeding grounds cleared by adopting suitable phytosanitary measures.
When the trees are in full bearing, their bunches tend to buckle due to the weight of the nuts, and farmers should provide sufficient support to prevent it by tying the bunches with ropes, according to him.
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