Thursday

Creation of a new coconut plantation

For estimating the number of seednuts needed to plant one hectare according to the types of coconut varieties, please visit the section on Seedbed and nursery.

Land preparation
For the establishment of plantation crops, it remains a common practice to burn remnants of trees after felling prior to land preparation. Such action often carried out during the dry months, resulted in the emission of large quantities of total suspended particles into the atmosphere and with excessive and prolonged burning, hazy conditions resulted. 
In Malaysia, the zero burning technique has been developed and adopted as a standard policy not only in replanting but also for new planting from jungle or logged-over forests. 
The main operations of zero burning involves firstly, the extraction of saleable and useable timber. This is to reduce the amount of residual wood which may take years to decompose and also, to enable the residual wood to be used as temporary bridges or rollers to strengthen the foundation of roads in peat areas. This is then followed by land preparation with the operations differing between flat, mineral and peat soils and hilly and undulating areas. For peat areas, to facilitate land preparation operations, excess water is removed. Natural streams passing through the land, are cleaned-up, widened and deepened and additional outlets and perimeter drains, constructed with special care taken to avoid rapid drying.
Soon after extraction of the timber, road and drain constructions are done with lining carried out to determine the location of all roads, main drains and subsidiary drains. In most cases, these are done simultaneously with blocking of the fields, felling and stacking. Base lines are then pegged to earmark the planting rows and avenues for the stacking of residual timber and wood debris. During felling, trees are pushed and uprooted and cut into reasonable sizes before stacking them in interrows at every two palm rows.
In peat areas, additional work in terms of compaction is carried out to avoid drastic shrinkage of the soil after planting. In hilly and undulating areas, after extraction of useable timber, main and feeder roads are constructed with the road system properly planned to ensure sufficient access. The density of contour terraces are predetermined and prelining for terrace construction are also carried out. During the construction of terraces, all debris are pushed and stacked between terraces with large obstructing timber or logs along the terraces, cut into smaller pieces.
Once the stacking is completed, legume cover crop is then established in the interrows and adjacent to the stacking row to encourage quick coverage over the debris, thus enhancing the decomposition of the debris. Once these operations are completed, lining, ploughing and harrowing which are confined only in the planting rows and in flat areas on mineral soils, together with holing and planting operations are then carried out.

Manpower needed for one hectare of new coconut plantation

Table 1. Manpower needed for planting  one hectare of coconut palms (days of work)

Years
0
1
2
3
4
 5 and more
TOTAL
Slaughtering, bucking, burning if no other option.
47
47
Finishing the preparation of the plantation
10
0
0
0
0
0
10
Sowing legume cover
3,5
0
0
0
0
0
3,5
Weeding leguminous cover
10
2
0
0
0
0
12
picketing
3,5
0
0
0
0
0
3,5
Hole digging
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
Placing and planting plants
3
0
0
0
0
0
3
Laying protective mesh
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
Replacement of dead plants
0
0,5
0,2
0
0
0
0,7
Maintenance of the plantation
3,5
8
6
5,5
5
5
33
Phytosanitary control
1,5
1,5
0,5
0,5
0,5
0,5
5
Various tasks
0,5
0,5
0,5
0,5
0,5
0,5
3
Total
84,5
13,5
7,2
6,5
6
6
122,7