3106.doc - QUALITY COCONUT SEEDLING PRODUCTION IMPORTANCE METHODOLOGY AND CHALLENGES N.Chattopadhyay and A.B.Sharangi*[email protected]

3106.doc - QUALITY COCONUT SEEDLING PRODUCTION IMPORTANCE...

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QUALITY COCONUT SEEDLING PRODUCTION: IMPORTANCE, METHODOLOGY AND CHALLENGES N.Chattopadhyay and A.B.Sharangi* (*[email protected]) Department of Spices and Plantation Crops, Faculty of Horticulture, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalqya, Mohanpur-741252, Nadia, West Bengal The quality of planting material determines the ultimate returns from arable crops, particularly from tree crops like coconut. The seedling vigour is highly correlated with adult palm characters such as early flowering, nut yield and copra production (Liyanage and Abeywardena. 1957). In the absence of a viable technology for vegetative method of propagation, coconut is propagated through seeds. If the seed nuts happen to be of poor quality, the new plantation will prove to be uneconomic causing considerable loss of time and money to the grower. Coconut, being a perennial crop, needs much attention in the selection of planting materials during establishments of an orchard or even for homestead garden. Further, being cross-fertilized, it does not breed true and makes the selection of seed nuts and seedlings more difficult. Moreover, the increasing competition from other countries like Indonesia, Philippines etc., compels us to go for quality planting materials as a first step towards better establishment increased productivity and improved quality nuts for a considerable period of time. Generally coconut growers have some misconceptions in choosing planting materials for their garden. They select the inappropriate mother palm, follow a wrong position of nut during planting, and judge the maturity of nut wrongly etc. knowingly or unknowingly. This reflected in terms of poor establishment, growth, yield and quality resulting a significant economic loss personally as well as in the perspective of global export scenario. Keeping this in view it is felt worthwhile to contribute some positive aspects on production methodology of quality planting materials in coconut. The first and foremost step is the selection of mother palm. The mother palms should be of 25-60 years of age with at least 30-32 rully opened healthy leaves on crown, shape of crown should be spherical or semi-spherical, petiole length and stalk of the bunches should be short and strong in nature, bearing habit should be regular with at least 80 nuts annual yield during the last 5 years, having medium sized round to oblong nuts (1200 g weight with dried husk). One should avoid drooping crown, dis-shaped nut, proximity of cattle shed and compost pit near the palm.
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