Publications des agents du Cirad


Mission to the coconut industry board (Jamaica), May 2008

Bonneau X.. 2008. Montpellier : CIRAD-PERSYST, 14 p..

Jamaican coconut plantations occupy around 15,000 hectares divided into small plantations of around ten hectares (the largest, over 100 hectares, are rare). They were first affected by LY in the 1960s and 1970s and were devastated again in the 1990s with a second wave of LY which completely wiped out entire plantations and is continuing to inflict damage today. Apart from LY, which is the main threat, coconut plantings are exposed to cyclone risks, to Phytophthora and to mites, notably with the appearance of a new species, the red palm mite. Under these conditions, it is not surprising to see the increasing disenchantment with the coconut sector in Jamaica. There are also some other causes: probably socio-economic causes (the way certain plots are farmed with a distant owner who does not encourage the search for productivity) and also, despite promotion efforts by the CIB, under-use of the many coconut-based products, resulting in a loss of local added-value earnings. Fortunately there are some reasons for hope. In particular, one dynamic farmer was seen who has decided to systematically fell and replace coconut palms affected by LY, with success for the time being. The method should be tested at other points on the island. At the same time as research on LY itself, the CIB proposes to carry out research to improve the productivity of coconut plantations, and thereby encourage farmers to regain confidence in the supply chain. It is felt that two points need to be emphasized: firstly, LY can be lived with and, secondly, profits can be gained by diversifying the use of coconut products locally. At the moment, the CIB distributes to farmers the Maypan hybrid (Malayan Green Dwarf x Panama Tall) produced in the Barton Isles seed garden under good conditions. It is suggested that the mineral nutrition in the seed garden should be managed by leaf analysis every two years.

Mots-clés : cocos nucifera; jamaïque

Rapport de mission

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