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Performance Of Coconut Hybrids And Commercial Hybrid Seednut Production

Coconut cultivation for commercial purposes in United Plantations Berhad  (UPB ) began in 1912. Since then, the Research  Department through  its research  and  collaborative initiatives has end eavored  to improve productivity  through  the development of  various coconut hybrids. PB  121, locally called  MAWA (Malayan Dwarf x W est Africa n Tall) was introduced for commercialisation  in the  mid - 1970’s. It was initially  adopted  to replace  the tall coconuts in the coco a-coconut plantations  but declining prices  and  infestation by  the cocoa  pod borer prompted  conversion to plantings  of  alternative crops such  as  oil palm . How ever, United Plantations Berhad maintained  its philosophy of  crop diversification  by retaining  its existent coconut hectar ages with the Research  Department tasked  to improve productivity  through the development of  hybrids and  seed nut production  for  upgrading  and  replanting. In the 1990's, MATAG  (Malayan Dwarf x Tagnanan Tall) was introduced  for  commercial cultivation. Currently United  Plantations Berhad with two coconut plantations totalling 3.000  hectares is the largest producer of  coconuts in M alaysia, producing close to HOM  nuts per year, equivalent to 20% of the country’s  production . Severed other high yielding  varieties are in the pipeline for  commercialisation, including the dwarf hybrids for the tender drinking  nut market, with yield potentials exceeding 35,000 nuts per hectare per year. The commercial seednut production field is confined  to a block  of  25 hectares and  is operated  by  the Research Department with a maximum  production  capacity of  110,000 saleable hybrid  seed nuts (4 months old). With escalation  in costs of  in puts and  wages, the cost of  seed nut production had risen  to RM 30 per  seed nut in 2014. How ever with good  agricultural management practices  complementing  the superior hybrid  planting materials, the production cost of  a mature coconut from  the plantations is RM 0.10, thus ensuring  a sustained  profitability' of  the coconut plantations in United  Plantations Berhad.

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