The Saraoutou research station was founded in 1962 on the eastern coast of Espiritu Santo. It became the Vanuatu Agricultural Research and Technical Center (or VARTC) in 1994.
VARTC produces two types of improved coconut planting material in its seed gardens:
- The Improved Vanuatu Tall (Improved VTT)
- The hybrid Vanuatu Tall x Rennell Island Tall (VTT x RIT).
Besides Improved VTT and the hybrid, which are mainly used for coconut and copra production, VARTC sells the Vanuatu Red Dwarf (VRD), the only Dwarf well adapted to Vanuatu ecology. This variety bears numerous and very small bright orange fruit. It is mainly planted as an ornamental in parks and gardens.
Other Dwarf varieties (mainly Green Dwarfs like the Brazilian Green Dwarf and the Thailand Green Dwarf) are sold by VARTC, mainly in the form of tender nuts.
Prices of planting material sold by VARTC are available here.
Hanold, D., Morin, J.-P., Labouisse, J.-P., Randles, J. W., 2003. Foliar decay disease in Vanuatu. In: Loebenstein, G. and Thottappilly, G. (Eds) Virus and Virus-like Diseases on Major Crops in Developing Countries. The Netherlands, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 583-596.
Labouisse, J.-P., Sileye, et al. 2004. Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) genetic improvement in Vanuatu: overview of research achievements from 1962 to 2002. Part 1: Improvement of the Vanuatu Tall by mass selection. Oléagineux, Corps Gras, Lipides 11(4-5): 354-361. doi: 10.1051/ocl.2004.0354.
Labouisse, J.-P., Sileye, et al.. 2005. Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) genetic improvement in Vanuatu: overview of research achievements from 1962 to 2002. Part 2: Improvement of the Vanuatu Tall by hybridization. Oléagineux, Corps Gras, Lipides 12 (2):170-179. doi: 10.1051/ocl.2005.0170