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Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust

DANIDA FACILITATES INTRDOCUTION OF HYBRID COCONUTS IN KENYA THROUGH MESPT

Danida is among the leading development partners in the agricultural value chain intervention in Kenya. In the Country Programme 2016-2020, Danida is Supporting Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust (MESPT) to develop five agricultural value chains: mango, passion fruit, dairy, export vegetable and nuts. Among the nuts value chains is coconut.

The main challenge that has been facing the coconut sub-sector is that, the existing variety (African Tall) take long to grow and produces very low yield. That is why MESPT, in conjunction with Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Agriculture Food Authority and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), through Danida support decided to look for a fast growing and high yielding variety.

That led to the importation (from India) of 6,000 seed nuts of the variety that has been highlighted in the story below; it grows three times faster and produces 4-5 times more yield compared to that of the current variety (see table below for a comprehensive analysis of  features of the variety). The seed nuts will be propagated under quarantine by KALRO and distributed to select farmers for trials before roll out. The clip you are about to view is when the variety was being received at the airport on 24th November 2017.

There later followed an official commissioning of the hybrid variety at KALRO – Matuga in Kwale County on the same day which was attended by all key stakeholders (both private and public) from the coastal region including the representatives of the national and county governments. Important to note is that MESPT is the leading organization among all Danida partners with regard to employment creation. Since the start of their engagement, 60,000 jobs have been created, with around 500 within the coconut value chain alone. With four to fivefold increase in production, the introduction of this variety is certainly going to significantly increase employment opportunities for youth and women engaged in coconut harvesting, de-husking, storage in collection centres, transportation and jobs at processing facilities.

 

INDIGENOUS EAST AFRICAN TALL

IMPORTED HYBRID COCONUT

1

Seedlings attain transplanting stage after 6 months

Seedlings attain transplanting stage after 6 months

2

Starts flowering at and fruiting in 5-7 years.

Starts flowering at and fruiting in 2.5-3 years.

3

Produces 50- 60 coconuts per tree per year

Produces 250-300 coconuts per tree per year

4

Gives an annual production of 3,000-4000 coconuts per acre per year

Gives an annual production of about 15,000 - 18,000 coconuts per acre per year

5

Has a copra weight of 100-150 grams per nut

Has a copra weight of 200-250 grams per nut

6

Has a low water content of 150-200 mls. per nut

Has a high water content of 500-700 mls. per nut

7

Has a low oil content

Has a high oil content

8

Do not require high level management

Require high level management

9

Generally grows very tall with high risk during harvesting

Generally grows short and nuts can be harvested with ease

10

Life span ranges between 80-120 years

Life span range between 30-50 years

11

Non product specific; just chancing during planting

Hybrids are product specific; e.g. coconut water; oil content; fibre content; palm wine production; etc.

ROYAL DANISH EMBASSY
13 RUNDA DRIVE,
RUNDA
P.O. BOX 40412-00100 GPO
NAIROBI
Tel: +254 20 7122848/ 7122849/7122850/7122851
Fax: +254 20 7120638
Email: nboamb@um.dk

 

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