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
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Posted 3:00 PM by Luigi
Sustainable coconut based intercropping for more income
From The Hindu's Farmers Notebook.
INTER-CROPPING coconut gardens with vegetables, pulses, tuber crops, fruit crops such as banana and pineapple makes for sustainable farming, according to Dr. V. Rajagopal, Director, Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), Kasargod, Kerala.
While vegetables and pulse crops fetch good returns as intercrops in coconut gardens in a short span of time, banana can provide income particularly in the initial stages of the coconut plantations, according to him.
"Usually farmers prefer to grow a variety of intercrops in the coconut gardens as growing coconut alone as a monocrop is not viable, as farmers have to wait a minimum of four years (in the case of dwarf varieties) to realise a good profit," he said.
Growing vegetable and banana between the coconut trees can supplement income in the developing stages of the coconut palms, according to Rajagopal.
"Also the leaves of vegetables and banana can be effectively used as a green mulching material for the coconut palms to enhance nut productivity", he said.
Mr. K. Kunhambu Maniyani, a progressive farmer of Kasaragod district of Kerala has recently won the best farmer award presented by the International Plant Genetic Resources (IPGRI) and Coconut Genetic Network (COGENT) for effective intercropping of vegetables and pulse crops in his coconut garden.
Mr. Maniyani, a model farmer who is practising the concept of coconut based intercropping for higher income has effectively utilised the interspace in his coconut garden for raising different vegetable and pulses as intercrops.
In his 0.88 hectares, Mr. Maniyani grows local west coast tall coconut variety as the main crop. There are about 110 coconut palms out of which 75 are in bearing. This coconut variety "is well adapted to the local climate of Kerala and the average yield of the tree is about 80 nuts every year," said Dr. Rajagopal.
By adopting intensive intercropping with crops such as banana, tapioca, cowpea and bhendi (lady's finger) in his coconut garden, Mr Maniyani has been able to get a net income of Rs.10,000 -12,000 every year.
The coconuts, after domestic use, are sold as raw nuts in the local market, according to Maniyani.
He has also been growing tapioca as intercrop in about 0.5 acres, which fetches him a return of Rs.3,000 every year.
"In my personal experience nendran variety of banana can be profitably cultivated as an intercrop in coconut gardens in the early phase of coconut growth," Maniyani said.
He is presently cultivating about 75 nendran banana plants in 0.25 acres. "The average yield of banana obtained is about 10-12 kg per plant. Banana intercropping fetches me an income of Rs.6,400 every year," he said.
Vegetables such as bhendi and cowpea fetch an income of Rs. 1,000 every year.
Mr. Maniyani said that he applies only organic manures to his coconut palms. But he applies both chemical fertilizers and organic manures to his nendran banana plants and vegetables.
He has also accommodated a few arecanut trees in between the coconut palms.
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