Coconut Palm- In the News

Caye Chapel OTC program a success

Over the last year and half, Caye Chapel lost close to 1/3 of its coco palms to lethal yellowing. This equated to about 50-60 mature palms dying every month. The OTC program was started 7 months ago and since then not one single palm has become symptomatic of Lethal Yellowing.

Status on the availability of Maypan hybrids for Belize- Oct. 5, 1997

Well there isn't usually any good news that accompanies Lethal yellowing and in this case I, unfortunately, dont have a very good report on our future supply of maypans for our replanting program.

There are only two places in the world that produce certified maypans: one is in Costa Rica - (Sacrac) and the other is in Jamaica - (Jamaican coconut board). the Jamaican program is about 4 times larger than Costa Rica. Additionally Belize has a Maypan hybrid program but has gone thru its ups and downs over the last 4 yrs due to govt budget cuts. the Belizean seednuts are not board certified but as far as I am concerned they are equal in quality to the others.

Due to the spread of ly in the Caribbean basin and Central America, the demand for Maypans are not able to keep up with the supply and orders are backlogged for over a year. This is good for the producers but not for us!

Our in country program at central farm, which is operated by AgroPro Ltd, will only be able to supply an estimated 500 seedlings per month commencing in the middle of 1998. currently they have backorders amounting to 3-4000 seedlings with more requests coming in weekly.

AgroPro was able to secure a shipment of 4000 Jamaican seednuts for 1st qtr 1998 delivery but 3000 of these are for one commercial customer and the other 1000 will be applied towards the above 3-4000 orders. They were very lucky to get the Jamaica order due to a last minute cancellation from another Carribbean island.

It is rather expensive to import the seednuts from Jamaica and practically cost prohibitive to bring them in from Costa Rica due to the lack of direct shipping lines.

We brought in one order of 2500 seedlings from Costa Rica last june by truck. The seedlings were delivered at the original promised price and the whole exercise became a financial loss for Agropro.

Hopefully something will come up in the near future where we will be able to get a more constant supply of seednuts from Jamaica and at the same time, be supplemented by our local supply from Agropro. the cost of the seedlings delivered to the consumer will be rather high but we really dont have any other option as it does not appear that the Belize govt is willing or able to help fund a replanting program.

Chris Berlin

This summary was written by Chris Berlin. For OTC treatments or for help with anything to do with coconut palms contact:
Chris Berlin
Fax: 011-501-226 3379

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