05 January 2006

Description: Matag hybrid

Click on the pictures to enlarge them !

From the book:
Coconut. A guide to traditional and improved varieties.
By R. Bourdeix, J.L. Konan and Y.P. N’Cho

Editions Diversiflora, Montpellier, France. Size: 21 x 27 cm - 104 pages

FRENCH VERSION: ISBN 2-9525408-0-2

Hybrid PCA 15-2 or Matag

The hybrid PCA 15-2 is a cross between the Malayan Red Dwarf and the Tagnanan Tall. Depending on the case, the Dwarf or the Tall is used as the female parent. PCA in the name stands for Philippine Coconut Authority, the State organization in charge of coconut research in that Asian country. The term Matag is especially used in Malaysia, “Ma” standing for Malaysia and “tag” standing for Tagnanan.
This hybrid was planted for the first time in 1979, both in the Philippines and in Côte d'Ivoire. It starts bearing 5 years after planting. Yields remain slightly lower than those of hybrid PB 121 up to around 10th year, after which the order is reversed. In terms of cumulated yields, hybrid PCA 15-2 only overtakes PB 121 around the 13th year after planting. However, it should be noted that this comparison is based on the first generation
PB 121, which has since then been improved in Côte d'Ivoire.
The fruits weigh 1,300 to 1,700 grams. The inner nut is round, usually weighs over 1,000 grams and gives 500 to 600 grams of moderately oil-rich meat. The copra weight per fruit fluctuates between 260 and 320 grams.
In Côte d'Ivoire, production peaks of 6.1 tons of copra per hectare per year (around 150 fruits per palm) have been recorded at 10 years for a planting density of 160 palms per hectare. In Malaysia, amazing yields of more than 7 tons have been reported, and this is the world record ! However, these figures should not be extrapolated to commercial growing conditions, which are often less suitable. Yields of 3 to 4 tons of copra per hectare can be expected (i.e. 70 to 90 fruits per palm per year).
Fungi of the genus Phytophthora cause either bud rot, which kills the coconut palm or nut-fall which reduces yields without killing the palm. Only the second symptom can be seen at the “Marc Delorme” research Centre in Côte d'Ivoire. Hybrid PCA 15-2 displays little susceptibility to nut-fall with only 1% fruit losses at 10 years, as opposed to 14% for hybrid PB 121. However, at Zamboanga in the Philippines, where coconut palms are killed by Phytophthora, PCA 15-2 seems to be more susceptible: mortality rates of up to 14% have been observed.
Tagnanan Tall palms produce green or brown fruits depending on the palms. In the Philippines, when the first hybrid seednuts were produced, only Tall parents with green nuts were used as the female parent. In the nursery, illegitimate plants can easily be culled according to the seednut sprout colour. Seednuts with a brown sprout are true PCA 15-2 hybrids; seeds with a green sprout are illegitimate, usually resulting from accidental selfing of the female parent. Later on, Tall palms with brown nuts were also used as female parents.In Côte d'Ivoire, hybrid PCA 15-2 was produced with the Red Dwarf as the female parent. In this case, seednuts with a brown sprout are true PCA 15-2 hybrids and seednuts with a red sprout are Red Dwarf varieties obtained by unwanted selfing of the female parent. In an international experiment, hybrid PCA 15-2 was exported in 2002 from Côte d'Ivoire to six countries: Benin, Brazil, Jamaica, Mexico, Mozambique and Tanzania. In particular, PCA 15-2 is being tested in this experiment with improved PB 121 and PB 113 hybrids, and with local Tall coconut varieties.