Friday

Contents

Site in construction

Information provided in this website aims to promote rejuvenation and replanting of coconut plantations in the Pacific region using preferably local coconut varieties. It was conceived in the framework of the CIDP expertise on "Coconut Production and Seeds System in the Pacific Region", of which the terms of references of the expertise are summarized here. This website is under the Creative commons licence CC BY-ND 4.0, meaning you are free to duplicate all the available information as long as its source is appropriately cited (R. Bourdeix & al, 2018. Coconut planting material for the Pacific Region, https://replantcoconut.blogspot.com).

See the 24 technical recommendations from the CIDP meeting on Coconut Production and Seeds Systems in the Pacific Region held in April 2018 in Nadi, Fiji

Twelve High Definition coconut posters
to print and pin in your office
!



Variety, Cultivar, Population and Accession, what does it mean?
The world catalogue of coconut conserved germplasm
List of germplasm conserved in ex situ coconut genebanks
How to download and extract data from the Coconut Genetic Resources Database

Selection of mother palms and seednuts


Organic management of coconut plantations
Use of plant cover to reduce weeding and fix nitrogen
Legislations and list of authorised products for organic management

Design and implementation of coconut seed systems
As debated in the Global Strategy for conservation and use of genetic resources, it seems possible to estimate roughly the number of coconut palms planted yearly at the global level. Coconut is cultivated as a crop on 12 million hectares, totaling approximately 1.44 billion palms, based on the likely average population density of 120 palms/ha. If we assume that coconut palms are replanted on average every 50 years, we can estimate that at least 28.9 million coconut palms (1/50, so 2%) need to be replanted each year simply to maintain a constant cultivated area. In fact the coconut area is presently increasing. Moreover, this first estimation does not take into account that a significant percentage of existing palms are already senile (more than 50 years old) and need to be replaced as soon as possible. Thus, this first estimation will have to be refined at the Pacific regional level, and for each Pacific country involved in CIDP project.

New tool for calculating the number of seednuts needed at national level 
 Cook Islands
 Federated States of Micronesia
 Fiji
 Kiribati
 Marshall Islands
 Nauru
 Niue
 Palau
 Papua New Guinea
 Samoa
 Solomon Islands
 Timor-Leste
 Tonga
 Tuvalu
 Vanuatu






Thursday

Compact Red and Yellow Dwarfs from the Cook Islands

By V. Mataora and R. Bourdeix, in construction

Three varieties of Compact Red Dwarf  were found in the Cook Islands by R. Bourdeix and V. Mataora in 2018. It seems there is at least another one, but it was much more difficult to classify, so we did not include it in the illustrations (stem looking like a Compact Dwarf, but leaves looking as the Papua Dwarfs). These three varieties have all the strong characteristics of both thick stem and wide leaflets found in Compact Dwarfs.  

Bunch pictures


Compact Red Dwarf, first variety found in Cook Islands
Fruits with small distal nipple 

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Compact Red Dwarf, second variety found in Cook Islands
rounder fruits with with a re-entrant end

Compact Red Dwarf, Third variety found in Cook Island
Fruits with huge distal nipples
Compact Red Dwarf, Third variety found in Cook Islands
Fruits with huge distal nipples
Compact Yellow Dwarf  Found in Cook Islands.
It seems that this variety also exist in Fiji.



Other pictures

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Wednesday

Surprising lessons from the late "Seven in one" coconut palm from Cook Islands

By R. Bourdeix and V. Mataora, April 2018.

In the center of Avarua, capital city of the Cook Islands, just to the east of the traffic circle was  a group of seven tall coconut trees growing in circle. Tradition has it that they were from only one tree! These seven palms were finally cut in 2015, at the age of 118 years. But their recent study, conducted after palm's death by R. Bourdeix and V. Mataora, provided interesting and surprising information, that could be useful for assessing new planting designs for the coconut palm.
In 2003, research conducted by Gerald McCormack found three oral traditions, but no early written records. The first tradition links the planting to a criminal trial of June 1911. The second tradition has the unusual coconut obtained by Captain Harries from an outer island – the Captain died in 1918. The third tradition has Henry (Aporo) Williams, Howard Greig and Hagai Paninga assisting on a schooner, said to be Thompson’s, and they brought the 7-sprout coconut from Manuae.
In November 2005, Gerald McCormack happened upon a 1960 article by Miss E. Grant that presents the story of the 7-palms on Rarotonga, as told by Senior Sergeant Nia Rua who was present at the planting. In 1906 and 1907 Howard Greig, Survey cadet, was in charge of gangs planting Conconut Palms on Takūtea. He found a nut with seven shoots and brought it back to Rarotonga in September 1907. The Resident Commissioner, Colonel Gudgeon was so impressed that he had it planted in front of the Administration offices in the presence of all the students of Tereora College, including Nia Rua. So the Seven in One was planted in 1907 or 1908.


The late "Seven in one" coconut palm, photographed in 2000 at the putative age of  93 years

An early photograph, reproduced here, shows the seven palms 
when Platts was the Resident Commissioner, between 1916 and 1920.
According to Gerald McCormack,
the height of the trucks and the number of leaf scars
 indicate that the palms were five to ten years old,
 which means they were planted sometime between 1905 and 1915.

This picture demonstrate that the stems of the palms
 
were originally jointed, emerging from the same place.
In 2018, the distance between the centers of the top of neighboring palms was evaluated by using a 2014 satellite image. This distance ranged from 7.1  to 14.0 m, with an average value of 9.7 meters. This is the value for palms aged 107 years. Some other measurements tends to show that the palms grow away from each other fairly quickly, separating from a distance of 6 to 7 meters after 15 to 20 years. Then they grow slowly and more vertically.
But the most surprising was to observed what happened at the base of the stems. The seven bases where remaining, so it was possible to calculate the distance between the palm stems at ground level. 

Representation of the late "Seven in One" coconut palm.
 Yellow rounds indicate the location of each palm crown
 according to the 2014 satellite image (Google Earth), so at the age of 107 years.
Black numbers were attributed to each palm during the 2000 visit of the expert.
Green numbers indicate the estimated distance (m) between the centers of the crowns
Orange numbers indicates the distance (m) between the centers
of remaining stems at ground level in 2018.

View of the bases of the stems
of two of the Seven-in-one palm as of 2018
It can be seen in the first picture taken in 2000
 that the stems were already distant,
but the expert did not pay attention to this detail at this time 

Are coconut palms walking?
Our measurements showed that the average distance between stems at ground level presently ranges from 1.24 to 2.01 m. All the seven sprouts emerged from the same coconut. The old pictures up clearly shows that the stems of the palms were originally well connected. So why, after more than one hundred years, these stems appear separated by an average 1.64 m distance? As far as we know, coconut palms do not walk to get away from each other. Thus this strange observation conducted us to formulate two hypothesis:
  1. The soil was elevated, during the living palm period, by bringing soil or sand in large quantities, in order to raise an elevation  of the ground level of at least 50 cm. There is no historical evidence that such a work was done.
  2. Due to the heavy weight of the Seven palms planted in a narrow space, and remaining during more than a century, the whole stems and root systems and have progressively sunk 50 cm to 1 m into the ground. In the absence of historical data proving that the human action elevated the soil, this second hypothesis seems the most rationale.
Whatever happen, it resulted in a kind of six-branched star with a central axis, made of seven coconut stems and buried under about 50 to 80 cm of soil. Coconut stem keeps the skill to emit roots when in contact with wet soil. From all parts of this “six-branched star”, roots have grown and mixed in all directions. This unusual and powerful rooting system explains both the longevity and the high fruit productivity of the seven-in-one coconut palms (105 seednuts collected in a single harvest at the age of 93 years). It could be useful to try to reproduce same kind of stem organization when testing new planting designs based on palm grouping.

Therefore, the Seven-in-one story suggest that, in such planting designs, the coconut palms from the same group could be planted at a lower distance than 2 m, which is the spacing presently recommended in the online video explaining GPH3.



Fruits of the "Seven in one" coconut palm in 2000
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In 2000, Piri Puruto III, the great coconut climber of Rarotonga,
accepted to climb the seven-in-one coconut palms for harvesting seednuts,
and the local TV recorded the show 

Aspect of the stem of a coconut palm aged 93 years,
one of the "Seven in One"



Monday

A new Inventory of coconut varieties and forms in the Cook Islands


By R. Bourdeix, V. Mataora and M. Purea

This new 2018 inventory is based of several documents:
  • The 2000 report of the project: . This document contains a list of varieties names recorded in Aitutaki during a participatory appraisal survey, and a list of varieties that were sampled for coconut embryos/ These embryos were sent to SPC Fiji lab for in vitro culture and supposed to be grown in the International Coconut Collection for the Pacific Region, located in Madang, Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, all the embryos died during the field transfer process, but data is still remaining.
  • The document published by M. Purea in 2017
  • The previous documents from Tiara Mataora, an agricultural officer who worked with the expert in 2000 and passed the way
  • The personal observations made by the expert and Victor Mataora, agricultural officer and nephew of Tiara.

Inventory of the coconut varieties and forms
available in the Cook Islands as of April 2018
R. Bourdeix and V. Mataora



Local names of varieties
International or scientific names
Comments
1
Niu Uri (Green),
Niu Kura (Brown)
Cook Island Tall (COKT)
Cook Island Tall Papaaroa (COKT03)
Cook Island Tall Vivi (COKT04)
Cook Island Tall Golf (COKT05)
From R. Bourdeix et al., 2000. Local Tall as named in Aitutaki Island. International names and abbreviation were given to populations when sampling embryos for the international collection of Papua new Guinea. Populations 3 from Rarotonga, 4 and 5 from Aitutaki. Pop. 4 at centre of the island, volcanic soil. Pop. 5 on a coral soil sometimes flooded.
2
Nu Lakita,
Nu Rakitakita.
Cook Island Tall Lakita ?
From M. Purea, 2017. Tall-type coconut with very large fruits, often known to come from Atiu Island. Some are grown in Rarotonga, one at Nikao at Kena’s home. Note from R.B: this type is often named “Niu vai” by Polynesians from other countries.
3
Nu Matukute
Pink husk forms. Cook Island Tall pink husk?.
From R. Bourdeix et al., 2000. Local Tall as named in Aitutaki Island. Called Red eye Coconut (by men) and Red lips Coconut (by women). Used for medicinal purposes. It is the unique case in which men and women from the same village does not use the same name for the same variety. Quite rare and needs to be preserved.
4
Nu Pia
Makapuno forms. Cook Island Tall Makapuno?
From M. Purea, 2017 and Tiara Mataora. Tall and Dwarf forms. Waxy or streachy appearance of the kernel that almost fill the cavity area normally occupied by the water. Beautiful taste; Similar to a very fine and smoothy scrapped younf coconut coconut flesh. Note from RB: Tuamotu islanders us the same name “pia”. Makapuno type. A special form with thick soft kernel, very appreciated in the Philippines –people are not using it a lot in Cook. Dwarf forms are very rare and need to be preserved.
5
6
7
Nu Papua, Niu Kini
Papua red and yellow Dwarfs, Tahitian Red Dwarf (TRD)
From M. Purea, 2017. Semi-Dwarfs. They are several types, with young fruit colors yellow, red or orange, or green. Medium to small fruit size. Note from RB: They are real well known Dwarf palms from Papua, if the growth is more than Dwarf, this is another variety or a varietal mix. In Aitutaki, people are considering that the Malayan Red Dwarf and the Papua Red Dwarf are the same variety, but they are different. At least 3 varieties of Papua should be found in Cook.
8
Nu Mangaro
Sweet husk forms.
Cook Island Tall Sweet Husk  (COKT02)
From M. Purea, 2017. Tall and Dwarf types. There are few around and I got one type in my Nikao Back-yard garden – Sweet and jucy husk. Note from RB: sweet husk coconut, precious disappearing variety, the Dwarf forms are the rarest, they should be identified and duplicated. A Tall-type from Aitutaki is planted in Atiu village.
9
Nu Kalepa
Spicata forms
From M. Purea, 2017. Tall and sometimes, Dwarf varieties in which the fruits are directly connected to the peduncle of the bunch (roro). Note from RB: spicata is not a local name but a scientific name. See the existing poster about these varieties. The spicata dwarf are rare and needs to be preserved.
10
Nu puru kaa
Nu Kapu Ukulele
Cook Island Tall Ukulele ?
From M. Purea, 2017, only picture description/
11
Niu Papua
Niu Kini
Malayan Red Dwarf
From R. Bourdeix et al., 2000. Imported by the priests and often planted near churches, for instance in Atiu island. Cook islanders do not appreciate it for drinking, but in many other countries, they are appreciated. In Aitutaki, people are considering that the Malayan Red Dwarf and the Papua Red Dwarf are the same variety, but they are different.
12
Unknown
Malayan Yellow Dwarf
From R. Bourdeix et al., 2000. Only a few palms in Rarotonga.
13
Niu Penenere
Compact Green Dwarfs - Cook Island Dwarf Totokoitu  (COKD01)
From R. Bourdeix et al., 2000. At list two varieties, one with pointed, sometimes heart shaped, medium to big fruits; another one with oblong bigger fruits. At least one is used for medicinal purposes. They are presently invading the Cook gardens. Said to be introduced to Cook around 1970-1980.
14
Niu Potopoto
Compact Brown Dwarfs
Cook Island Dwarf Vaikoa (COKD02)
Note from RB: at list two varieties, one with oblong, dark brown colored fruits, anotrer with roundish and clearer brow green coloured fruits. They are presently invading the Cook gardens. Said to be introduced to Cook around 1970-1980. Embryos were collected in the garden of the hotel Vaikoa units, Aitutaki (Phone 682 31 145, fax 682 31145).
15
Niu Potopoto
Compact Red Dwarfs
Note from RB: rare and precious variety that could be used to plant new kind of seedgardens. When planted with another green variety, the seedgarden produces Red dwarfs, the Green variety and brown hybrids, easily indentififiable at nursery stage. Much rarer than Brown and Green compact Dwarfs. The story of these Dwarfs remains uncertain. Probably more than one variety.
16
Unknown
Compact yellow Dwarfs
Note from RB: the rarest variety, but not as important as the red form, because less suitable for seedgardens. If you plant this Yellow dwarf with a green variety, you will not be able to make differences between the green variety and hybrids for seednuts harvested on Green varieties. The story of these Dwarfs remains uncertain. Probably more than one variety.
17
Seven in one
Cook Island Tall Seven-in-one (COKT01)
From R. Bourdeix et al., 2000. Extinct. Previously located where the building of the Ministry of Justice is now.


Tuesday

Cook Islands

Map of Cook islands
The Cook archipelago gathers 15 islands, of which two remains uninhabited, sprinkled on 2.25 million square km of the Pacific Ocean. All the islands combined make up an area of just 240 square km. the Cook Islands have a special economy, mainly based on tourism. More than 100,000 Cook islanders are now living abroad; part of them are sending money to their family and relatives remaining in Cook Islands, which are only 14,000. In 2017, about 140,000 tourists visited Cook Island. Because of this particular economical system, the remaining islanders often have a quite easy life and some of them became quite reluctant to hard tasks such as agricultural fields work. Fields workers started recently to come from Fiji, the Philippines and sometimes Indonesia.
There is presently limited coconut Industry in the Cook Islands. Farmers do not produce any more copra and do not export coconut products. All other agricultural exports have stopped except Noni Juice. Coconuts produced in the Cook serve for feeding animals, cooking and drinking nuts. In Rarotonga, tourists buy a tender nut 4 to 6 NZD. Due to the large number of tourists visiting the islands, prices of both accommodation and food reach a high level.
Some islanders are producing coconut oil mainly by the cooking and fermenting methods. They sell oil to the market or to gift shops. Some sell it at roadside stalls. Some entrepreneurial teenagers are even selling it on Facebook. According to Rachel Reeves, a group from Nukutere College called “Freshness Cook Island” debuted its products at a trade day featuring college students from four Island. Under the brand of of “Miracle oil”, they market three type of products: oil with miri, a fragrant herb; oil with pi, an herb with medicinal properties; and pure oil. Their maximum production was 76 bottles in a week. In the early 2000’s, when the outer island population dwindled rapidly, the local supply for Miracle oil decreased, and its export grew sporadically. In 2015, the Cook Foundation bought the Mauke island two electric graters in an effort to revitalize Miracle oil production. a full equipment including electric graters was also installed in Atiu Island, but is presently used only sporadically.



1. Design and implementation of seed supply systems

Past seed supply system

Compact Brown Dwarf variety
and its owners,
Aitutaki Island, 2000
Officially, no coconut varieties have been introduced from abroad during the past 50 years. Nevertheless, both oral traditional and the inventory of existing varieties show that Cook people and coconut farmers did some introductions privately. Many varieties of different crops were introduced from PNG and other islands between 1930 and 1970. Some of these varieties have been recorded to be planted and grow in Manue Island.
Malayan Red Dwarf is found is small quantity and was introduced by churches; so are Dwarfs introduced from Papua New Guinea (called Nu Papua). The question of Compact Dwarf remains open. Compact Dwarf and their intermediate forms are very present in Rarotonga, and also found both in Aitutaki and Atiu. We still do not know if they are traditional varieties or if they came from the crossing between the Malayan Red and the Niu leka, made in Fiji in 1926. Elders say that this kind of coconut was introduced no more than 30 to 40 years ago. From our last visit in 2000, Compact Dwarfs have invaded the landscapes. We estimate that more than 70% of the coconut planted in Rarotonga during the XXI century have genes from Compact Dwarfs. There are nice red-orange Compact Dwarf that could serve in seedgarden, to be planted together with a green variety (Tall or Dwarf) to produce both red Dwarfs, brown hybrids and Green Talls. No coconut hybrids were produced, released nor imported in the Cook Islands.

Present seed supply system


Each island have its autonomy for agricultural R&D, which is placed under the island administration. The Ministry of Agriculture have a small programme to replant yearly 500 coconut palms on a community basis, along the roads and in other public places. On outer islands, people can harvest free these palms when they need coconuts.
On the two sides of the sandy road along the Atiu Island, more than one thousand coconut palms have been planted. Officers picked the seedlings growing naturally in the bush and replanted them along the road. 
The main agricultural problem of Atiu is wild pigs. Some of them have become enormous and dangerous. They sometimes attacks the people running motorbike by night. Atiu is the island in Cook where this problem is the most important. Wild pigs destroy many plantations and young coconuts. Groups of goats are not wild but they also destroy many small coconut palms.
In Atiu, officers have just recently started collecting seednuts and growing them at the nursery. In April 2018, there was only 20 to 30 seedlings in the nursery. Selection of the parent palms is conducted on advices of ex agricultural staff, and personal observations and choices of the present officers. They favour big fruits with sweet tasty water.
Seedlings are given free to farmers, who do not receive any incentive for replanting. There is no follow up of the planted coconut palms. In 2018, they are farmer databases existing for other crops, but no coconut.
In Atiu, all the equipment for making virgin coconut oil is fully available, but women groups are using it very occasionally. When asking the reason, local officers reply “lack of coconuts”, but the expert does not believe this is the main reason. They are plenty of coconuts that are not harvested in Atiu. The main reason could be the cost and/or the lack of labor for the coconut to be picked, harvested and transported to the oil production site.

Proposed contribution of CIDP to the national coconut seed supply system


The new concept of delocalized community-based genebank
In Rarotonga, land is scarce. Totokoitu was an agricultural centre, but landowners reclaim the land within the last 10 years and it is no more managed by the Ministry of Agriculture. Matavera serves as genebank for several crops (Bananas, yam, sweet potatoes) but no for coconut. Its total land area is 2 acres only.  Troubles with landowners prevents to create another agricultural research centre in Rarotonga. For a coconut genebank, an area of at least 10 hectares is required, and this is impossible to secure such an area in Rarotonga. Thus, in the Cook islands, it seems almost impossible to create a classical coconut genebank because of land scarcity and land tenure questions.

The expert would like to introduce the new concept of delocalized community-based coconut genebank: Each coconut palm planted in a public place should be from a variety perfectly identified; its identity and its localisation (latitude and longitude, date of planting) should recorded in a database available online. If the Ministry apply this advice, Cook will probably have after ten years the largest coconut genebank in the world – without devoting any dedicated land to this activity. This genebank will be directly available to all citizen who can access information by the online database.


What was recently done in some islands – taking thousands of unidentified seedlings in the bush and plant them along the road – should never be done again. Regarding database management, It is advised to release information online only when the coconut palms will start to fruit; otherwise there is a risk for the seedlings to be stolen. Therefore, the database system should include the option to release or not the individual information on line.
According to expert advices, with agreement of relevant ministries and local stakeholders, the following activities could be implemented under the CIDP project.

Table 1. Suggested activities in Cook Islands
 for coconut production and seed system


Activities
1
Incentives for replanting dedicated to schools and other similar communities. 2 NZD for 1000 coconut palms, management and follow-up, production of a leaflet explaining good planting and selection practices. Register all palms planted in public places in a database as part of the delocalized genebank.
2
Buying 500 coconut harvest hooks and use them as an incentive for replanting 10000 coconut palms (20 palms planted for one hook given). Record recipient farmers in a database.
3
Assessing and extending the number of efficiently selected parent palms for seednut production (400 palms analysed, 10 to 20% chosen, 1500 seednuts released); and creating a comprehensive parent palm database.
4
Implementing the new concept of delocalized community-based coconut genebank. 500 palms from 10 well identified varieties planted in public places, and recorded in a database available online. Data should include a number for each palm, local and international name of the variety, date of planting, latitude and longitude, number of the parent palm.

2. Preparation of the training package


Here under is a short movie on a farmer's method for planting coconut in Atiu Island, Cook archipelago. this movie seems important for two main reasons:
  1. This is the first documented case in Polynesia where a farmer plant many coconut palms and remove the baddest. I found that most pacific farmers are generally very conservative and, once a coconut palm is planted, they keep it for a long time, be it a good or a bad producer. Jokingly, we could say that most of these farmers treat coconut palms as members of their families. This movie demonstrates that I was wrong and that, at least in some cases, farmers are applying the technique that is recommended in our website: to plant more coconut palms and to remove those which are not producing well.
  2. We were surprised to see that this farmer is applying the criteria for selecting coconut fruits similar than the one developed in the method proposed here.There is a scene where the farmer is discarding the biggest fruits and keep only the one with thin husk and big coconut inside. So our method is well connected to some traditional practices, here in Atiu, Cook Islands. It's pleasant and reassuring, because we did not know the link with traditional practice at the time when we developed this method.



Click on the link to see:
The new inventory of coconut varieties in the Cook Islands
Compact Red and Yellow Dwarfs from the Cook Islands
Surprising lessons from the late "Seven in one" famous coconut palms.
Compact  Green and Brown Dwarfs from the Cook Islands
Papua Dwarf and Semi-Dwarf
Malayan Red and Yellow Dwarfs
Tall-types palms from the Cook Islands
Varieties and forms with special characteristics

3. Train the trainers meeting and public lecture

Past coconut seed supply system in Kiribati

By R. Bourdeix, in construction

Germplasm introductions and observations (from Trewren, 1985)
  • Niu Leka Dwarfs were introduced in 1967 from Fiji and 2 ha planted near Bikenibeu, Tarawa. They showed poor growth with severe symptoms of nutrients deficiency. The block was used as nutrition experiment. Severely affected by drought in 1973.
  • Rennell Talls were introduced and planted at Ambo, Tarawa, about 1965. They showed poor production and symptoms of trace element deficiency. They were used in the early 1970’s as female parent (after emasculation) for hybridization with local Tall. 
  • A spacing/density trial was planted with selected Kiribati Tall on a poor stony soil at Abatao, Tarawa and despite this, showed a good growth.·This plantation was visited and filmed (drone and traditional method for planting coconut).



It is clear from the satellite image that these coconut palms had a much better development than other palms planted around. So this material should preferably used as a source of planting material. Another option could be to turn this plantation into a multipurpose seed garden, by cutting all the palms except the best green one, and replanting red varieties such as Compact Red Dwarfs or Red Semi-Talls.

  • Malayan Dwarfs were planted about 1973 at Abatao. The origin is uncertain. They showed extremely severe symptoms of iron deficiency and high mortality. There are quite a number of MRD in the village within the Gilbert Islands where they are valued for toddy production purpose. There are also a few Malayan Yellow Dwarf.
  • Malayan Red Dwarf x Rennell hybrids were introduced in 1974 and 1976 from Yandina plantation, Solomon Islands; 22 ha were established on reclaimed lagoon mud at Temaiku Bight, Tarawa, in extremely poor growing conditions (poor nutrient status, thick impenetrable hard pan only inches from the surface, periodic inundation). Most of the palms are stunted and show symptoms of mineral deficiencies.



  • Five trees of a green Dwarf were recorded on Makin Island, in front of the guest house. The seednuts were reported to have been brought from Butaritari but Trewren think that they could be Malayan Green Dwarfs.
  • A dozen of trees were reported by Town to be Marshall Islands Dwarfs, established on reclaimed lagoon mud at Temalku Bight. For Ratieta, they came from Tarawa.
  • On Kiritimati, Line Group, a block of Rennell Talls was planted about 1963. Half of them died and the other showed extremely severe symptoms of iron deficiency.
  • Also on Kiritimati, a block was planted with seednuts coming from one (?) of the islands of Gilbert Group. In 1985, the palms were healthy but the nuts had a small size. 
  • The Kirimati Tall itself is reported to be very variable. Trees in the trials were producing (in 1985) a very high proportion of large nuts with a very good copra kernel/husk ratio. Note: where is located this trial and are palms still alive?
  • On Fanning island, a fairly high proportion of coconuts with fruit weight of over 3 kg is reported but with a rather small nut surrounded by a enormous amount of husk. They can be the Niu afa of Niu Kafa variety.





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