Jan 2, 2016

Coconut in situ conservation in Vietnam: a potential for developing new R&D projects

In Vietnam, about five thousand coconut palms have been identified by IOOP, around 1000 in each of 5 provinces: Ben Tre, Tien Giang; Tra Vinh, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen. About 40 to 50 farmers were selected by province. All palms have been geo referenced.
Satellite images illustrating the location of 3000 palms geo referenced in farmer's fields
from the whole country to the farms levels
Presently the data collected in farms is mainly the identity and localisation of the farmers, the variety and the individual level of production of the palms. For developing an in situ conservation approach, it could be very interesting to collect more data about these farmers. A first approach could be to use the International descriptors list conceived under the leadership of Bioversity International. A second approach could be to collect more data on the social habits of farmers and their traditional practices and knowledge, such as for example those developed in the framework of the REPROCROP project.

See the technical movie made from the training: how to transfer the field data to Google Earth Pro by using Qgis software.

As pointed out in a recent publication (1), many current coconut research and development programmes are impacting conservation beyond genebanks and farmer’s knowledge on the reproductive biology of their crops. Most of these programmes do not mention it explicitly. Although not yet mentioned, the R&D actions undertaken by IOOP has an implicit but obvious positive effect on the sustainability of coconut in situ conservation in Vietnam. So why not to mention it and to develop it accordingly? Thus, including the conservation of genetic resources as one of the explicit objectives of such programmes will increase the commitment of both the scientific community and decision makers, and will result in a win-win situation.

Seednuts are sold from farmers to farmers, and sometimes bought by the institute or by the governments of the provinces and then redistributed to other farmers. It was not yet estimated how many seednuts were sold from farmers to farmers and to local Governments.

(1) Bourdeix R., Perera L., Rivera R.L., Saena-Tuia V and Masumbuko L. 2016. Global coconut communities - status and strategies in in situ diversity management and utilization. In: Coconut: Global status and perspectives. Central Plantation Crop Research Institute, Kasaragod, India. Submitted.