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Assessment Of Experience With High Yielding Varieties Of Coconut In The Philippines

Before the suspension of the Philippines National Coconut Planting and Replanting Program or NCPRP in 1985, two variety hybrids, MYD x WAT and MRD x WAT, were distributed  over all coconut regions in the country. This covered a total area of about 56,000 hectars  of which sixty threre  perc ent are smallholdings. The m anagement of these farms in the first few years depended largely on government support. Except in the highly suitable areas in Mindanao, both hybrids failed  to yield the expected  productivity  levels in the hands of the smallholders on account of the la tter’s inability to provide the necessary inputs such as fertilizers after the suspension of government support. The Mawa's responsiveness to fertilizer  application and high yield of small nuts and toddy were noted. Farmers who planted the hybrids in the typhoon belt complained of its vulnerability to strong winds. Of late , farmers noticed  the hybrid s’ apparen t low tolerance  to Phytophthora  disease. T echnically, hybrids an and or varieties  which yield better  than traditional tails  under modera te  or low levels of management should be promoted. Recent advances in coconut breeding in the country have shown that local varieties can be popularized as they can give equally high yields as the Mawa under modest cultural management conditions.

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