05 January 2006
Description: Tagnanan Tall
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From the book:
Coconut. A guide to traditional and improved varieties.
By R. Bourdeix, J.L. Konan and Y.P. N’Cho
Editions Diversiflora, MontpellierSize: 21 x 27 cm - 104 pages
ENGLISH VERSION: ISBN 2-9525408-1-0
FRENCH VERSION: ISBN 2-9525408-0-2
The coconut plantations of the Philippines owe much to a royal edict from the court of Madrid which, in 1696, required each adult to plant at least 200 seedlings of coconut palms. The Tagnanan Estate farm, from which this variety came, lies Northeast of the Gulf of Davao, the capital of Mindanao Island. In the 1940s, this farm was a plantation of abaca, a plant similar to banana whose fibre is used to make ropes and fabrics. At the end of the war, the land was purchased and converted into a large coconut plantation, after a virus had decimated the abaca. Seednuts were taken from coconut palms on the seashore near to the plantation. According to some inhabitants, these parent palms already planted on the seashore were brought from Indonesia by an American settler. Later, the plantation, renamed Tagnanan, was divided up among more than 300 Philippino farmers.
The vertical growth of Tagnanan tall (TAGT) is variable but greater than that of African Tall palms. The fruits are rounded, often wider than they are long, and rich in water. With a thin husk and thick meat, fruit composition is excellent, even more so since parents where especially chosen by the scientists for that criterion. Data from the Tagnanan estate indicate a fruit weighing 1,929 g and containing 310 g of copra. In the best plots, the number of fruits produced reaches 94 per palm per year. The production continues to increase 15 years after planting, and reach high levels.
The seednuts harvested at the plantation have been planted at the Zamboanga Research Centre in the Philippines and exported to Côte d'Ivoire. At Zamboanga, the palms have given 68 fruits per year, with a weight of copra per fruit of 328 grams. In Africa, this variety has proved to perform much less well: the 400 palms planted in 1974 have produced an average of 46 fruits per adult palm per year. The second introduction was carried out by selecting parents with a high meat weight per fruit. The result of the selection process was disappointing: Thus, the meat weight effectively increased by around 7%, but production was only 22 fruits per palm per year. Selecting large fruits can indirectly cause a substantial reduction in the number of fruits. TAGT transmits good tolerance to nut fall and bud rot caused by fungi of the genus Phytophthora. After 15 years of studies at the Zamboanga Research Centre, nine locally produced coconut hybrids and one local Tall were selected from the collection and a pool of 67 hybrids established in eleven genetic trials by the Philippine Coconut Authority. The hybrid released to farmers under the commercial name PCA 15-2 is a cross between the Malayan Red Dwarf and TAGT. PCA 15-4 is another hybrid between the Catigan Green Dwarf and TAGT.TAGT is conserved in collections in the Philippines, Malaysia, Tanzania, Côte d'Ivoire, Vanuatu and Ghana. However, at the Tagnanan estate, the coconut palms were felled and replaced with bananas in the 1990s.