CARDI in collaboration with the Coconut Industry Board (CIB) has undertaken several initiatives to increase the availability of quality coconut seednuts and seedlings to farmers in Jamaica, under the EU/ ACP Coconut Industry Development for the Caribbean project.
Research has confirmed that placing coconut seednuts under shade while providing adequate moisture will result in higher rates of germination and better development of seedlings. To this end, a 5,000 -sq ft (464.5 -sq metre) nursery was established at the Knockalva Polytechnic College in Hanover, using the Maypan hybrid seednuts. The seednuts were obtained from the CIB-operated seed garden at Barton Isles.
To protect the seednuts, a perimeter fencing was erected and a drainage system constructed. A sprinkler system was also installed to ensure seednuts and seedlings have adequate moisture.
In addition to providing farmers with quality seedlings, the nursery will be used by the college to provide practical training to students on nursery establishment and management. The training will be facilitated by CARDI and CIB.
Within the nursery an experiment was set up to determine the effects of seednut orientation (horizontal, positioned at a 45o angle and upright) and quality, on germination percentages and seedling quality. A total of 3,315 seednuts were sown on 18 seedbeds.
Across in Portland an irrigation system was installed at the CIB Spring Garden nursery. On 25 April CARDI handed over the irrigation system which was installed by the National Irrigation Commission (NIC). The system will facilitate expansion of the nursery area.