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Global Coconut Research For Development Programme Progress And Prospects

Under PROCORD. COGENT is mandated to coordinate research on genetic resources and improvement and on soscioeconomics and policy support. COGENT has conserved and characterized 1402 accessions in genebanks in 23 countries and 224 accessions in COGENT’s multi-site International Coconut Genebank. It is developing long­ term storage techniques on cryopreservation and has initiated in situ!on-farm conservation in eight countries. It is conducting multilocation trials of 34 promising hybrids in four African and three LAC countries; developed a microsatellite molecular marker kit in collaboration with CIRAD and BUROTROP, trained researchers from nine countries and provided research grants to each trainee to use this technique in characterizing their genetic diversity. An ADB-funded "Poverty reduction in coconut growing communities" has been initiated in 24 project sites in eight countries. COGENT has supported the MSc scholarships of 10 coconut researchers who have all graduated and two more PhD scholarships are ongoing. COGENT has identified two initial priority projects to implement under PROCORD: 1) Establishment and strengthening of the multi-site International Coconut Genebank and 2) "Poverty reduction in coconut growing communities" to demonstrate that coconut farmers need not be poor. BUROTROP has been active in the development of PROCORD and its promotion to European funding agencies and institutions, under PROCORD. BUROTROP is mandated to coordinate research on agronomy, physiology and coconut-based agroforestry systems and crop protection. Two urgent priorities have been identified in two research areas assigned to BUROTROP: tolerance to drought in coconut and management of coconut Lethal Yellowing Disease and is developing proposals to address these priorities and coordinating with other initiatives in these two themes. Under PROCORD. APCC is mandated to coordinate research on processing and marketing. APCC collected information on availability of copra driers and small coconut oil crushing mills. APCC has participated in the International Food Ingredients Exhibition in Bangkok and in the International Coconut Summit and Exhibition in India; in several other international and national seminars and promoted the health and nutritional benefits of coconut products. Project proposal formulation is being undertaken to develop a mechanical harvester, dehusker, refinement of technology for desiccated coconuts and to develop technologies for making niche products for coconut, formulate quality standards of coconut products including virgin oil. assess the nutritive effects as well as health effects of coconut against viral diseases. Preliminary information on availability of products in Europe and USA markets are being obtained. Studies to identify market potential and access and domestic coconut use need to be undertaken. An integrated project on processing and marketing is also being formulated.

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