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Assessment Of Experience With High Yielding Coconut Varieties In Western Samoa

Coconut is an important crop to Western Samoa. Besides from  its significant contribution to the economy, coconut is very much a part of Samoan way of life. Presently 70,000 acres are planted to coconut. At least 20,000 rural workers are directly engaged in the coconut industry with another 5,000 indirectly or some time as part timers. The traditional coconut variety commercially planted in Western Samoa, the Samoan local tall is generally low yielding about 600 Kg/Ha/year. Some promising local exotic varieties have been evaluated and are being used in the breeding programme. In Western Samoa planting of new varieties are practically new. The sample farms for the study was selected  from those planted  with local tall. Villages were selected  at random  from  different districts and from the village sample farmers were identified. The average yield of the local tall from the study was 700 kg/ha/year compared to the national average of 600 kg/ha. Only one holding planted to the hybrids (RD x RT) was stated to produce high yields compared to the local tall. The farm ers had very little experience with new variety particularly the RD x RT hybrid. However the demonstration effect of older plantings of this variety seems to have encouraged the farmers and as a result since 1988 there is a growing demand for hybrid seedlings.

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