Wednesday

Needs for review and implementation of coconut breeding programs


Nothing can replace a well-designed, regular and sustainable breeding program conducted by well-trained professionals. In the Pacific and even in the world, very few countries have succeeded in creating and maintaining such a breeding program, which requires the yearly planting of at least ten hectares of fields experiments. Such a breeding program, if well conducted, could lead to triple the present yields of coconut farms.
Many breeding programs are not fully effective because they do not optimize breeding cycles. Using appropriate methods, a Tall-type population could be improved of about 25% in a cycle period of 14 years (So 1.8% per year in average). Best improved hybrids created in Côte d’Ivoire (West Africa) are producing 30% more than hybrids presently released in the Pacific region.
Expert advice is to commit a team of international experts for conducting a full review of coconut breeding programmes existing in the Pacific region, and for assessing how some other countries from the region could develop and maintain such breeding programmes.

References

Batugal, P., Bourdeix, R., & Baudouin, L. (2009). Coconut breeding. In Breeding plantation tree crops: Tropical species (pp. 327-375). Springer, New York, NY.
Bourdeix, R., Sangare, A., Le Saint, J. P., & N'Cho, Y. P. (1989). Effectiveness of individual combining ability tests on hybrid coconuts: initial results. Oleagineux (France).