A partial analysis of past coconut development projects in Fiji
By V. Kumar and R. Bourdeix, December 2017.
Taking into account the data we collected, we estimate that no more 40% of the seednuts delivered to farmers in 2014 and 2015 gave living palms in the fields. If similar development plan is launched in 2017, using the same strategy, probably the same maximum rate of 40% will be obtained.
The highest quantity of seednuts given to a single farmers was 500. None of the recipient farmers were located in the coastal region, the main producing zone. All the farmers who used these seedlings are located inland, in zones mainly devoted to sugar palm and cattle breeding, where only a few coconut palms are grown. These inland farmers, including the one who ordered 500 seednuts, do not sell coconuts and use them only for home consumption or to feed animals. So this development project had a very small effect on the coconut industry in Fiji.
Visit of Viti Levu in 2017
In Viti Levu, Ms Primila Devi from Macuata Extension office (Email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 9974476) kindly provided us a paper list of the seednuts delivered to farmers during 2014 and 2015. We tried to visit four farmers, but as the first one was absent, we interviewed only three. This should be completed by intervewing more farmers.
The second farmer named Sanju Reddy took 300 seednuts, but said that only 100 was planted in his farms, and the remaining seedlings were taken back by extension officers. He estimated that 80 living palms remains, this could be checked by analysing the satellite image of the farm.
The third (Vunimako group farmers, geographical localisation to be added ) received 300 seednuts. they germinated the all on the farm, but only 20 palms were planted in the visited farm, the remaining given to other farmers, and some still remains as overgrown seedlings in the nursery.
The last farmers received 500 seednuts, he planted 200 seedlings, and the rate of mortality was about 5%. So only 38% of the seednuts gave living palms in the field.
Visit of Vanua Levu in 2017
This partial study should be completed by sending an officer (preferably from another region) to other recipient farmers in order to assess the number of seednuts that were effectively planted and the palms that are surviving.
Posted by Dr Roland Bourdeix