- a. Mother palm selections, nursery management and establishments of nurseries
- b. Farming systems (including agro-forestry) technologies as a means of optimising land use, enhance multi-cropping
Details are given hereunder.
1. Prepare a training package for organic and conventional systems
Mother palms and seednut selection have two complementary aspects: traditional Polynesian methods and modern scientific methods.
Regarding traditional Polynesian methods, Some Samoan farmers have been surveyed to compare what they do with the traditional practices already recorded from French Polynesia. The survey showed that Samoan farmers do not use the same classification than previously observed in French Polynesia, and that most of them do not have botanical knowledge about the mode of reproduction of the coconut palm: most of them do not know for instance, that the coconut inflorescence have both male and female flower. A small experiment was conducted in the nursery of Nuu Research station about the criteria use by Tahitians for selecting seednuts on the way they sprout. It seems to indicate that this criteria is not efficient in the case of Samoan Tall Variety.
Regarding seedbed, nursery, planting techniques, intercropping and organic management, the expert have compare its recommendations with the present practices of Samoan farmers and scientists. For nursery and planting techniques, expert recommandations are be based mainly on CIRAD experience. For intercropping, a review of litterature from principally PNG, Côte d'Ivoire and India will be proposed. For organic management, experiences conducted mainly in India and the Philippines will be compared with present practices in the Pacific region.
For scientific methods, the expert have compared international recommendations, its own recommendations and the present practices of Samoan farmers and scientist.
The way to increase the autonomy of farmers for producing good planting material (Hybrid, Tall and Dwarf) will be discussed.
4. Design and implement public private seed supply systems
The expert will launch the preparation of a national/regional coconut varietal contest, in order to identify the stakeholders who knows the best varieties and who could be interested in marketing seednuts. He will interact with the organizations who could be involved in this preparation, such as the Samoan farmers association, the Samoa Federated Farmers Incorporated (S.F.F.I), Women in Business Development Inc, N.U.S Media and Journalism School. This will also include a visit to the National museum of Samoa who should keep for display the most extraordinary coconuts from the contest.
Note on present status of coconut cultivation in Samoa
In Samoa, two small islands started in 2012 to be designed for a double objective: 1) conserve the niu afa and red dwarf varieties and 2) produce both Hybrid, Tall and Dwarf seednuts for farmers. The first objective was well reached, as many niu afa and red dwarf are planted on these island, and it is expected that they remains available for the next 30 years. But the second objective (seednut production) was not attained, because all the old Tall palms where not removed, so the seednuts presently produced by those islands are not true to type. Hereunder are the task to be achieved.
|Polymotu design in Nuusafe’e|
Even if people does not agree about the ownership of the island, they are Polynesians proud of their traditions, and they should agree on the following points:
- Whatever will happen, coconut palms will continue to grow on Nuusafe’e as on other similar islands.
- The fact to plant the niu afa variety using a traditional ancient practice increases the patrimonial value of the island.
- So even if the opponents disagree on the ownership of the island. they should agree that this multifunctional landscape management would benefit all Samoans, including the future winner.
Farmers and coconut associations in Samoa
Media in Samoa