CoGent Network

Past projects

Project title

Upgrading international coconut genebanks and evaluating accessions

Project duration

Start Date: 01 October 2011| End Date: 31 March 2012

Funding agency

Global Crop Diversity Trust

Countries

Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

 project upgrading

Research Partners

  • CEFE
  • Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA) - Cote d’Ivoire
  • CIRAD- Département des Systèmes Biologiques (Cirad-Bios), France
  • Cocoa & Coconut Institute of PNG
  • Coconut Research Institute (CRI)
  • Zamboanga Research Center (ZRC) of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA)

Coordinating agency

Bioversity International

Project leader

Roland Bourdeix

Scientists

Project documents

 Download Terminal report (0.9MB)

 

 

Background, overview and objectives

During a network meeting in 2009, one of the main limiting factors of updating the Global Coconut Conservation Strategy process was identified as "making decisions with incomplete or obsolete information". Indeed, Over the last decade, not enough information has been shared among the COGENT coconut genebanks. Thus, there is no overview of which accessions are still viable, what new germplasm has been collected, and which germplasm has been lost during the last 10-year period. 

The first step towards refining the conservation strategy is to update and analyze the data about the current status of world coconut germplasm. This survey needs to be conducted not only on the germplasm conserved, but also on the techniques used to conserve and to reproduce this germplasm, and on the cost of conservation.

Between 1992 and 2002, the Coconut Genetic Resources Database (CGRD) was developed to manage and disseminate information about the accessions in the COGENT genebanks. Presently, 1459 coconut accessions from 28 collecting sites in 23 countries are recorded in the database. The database includes 79 passport descriptors, 121 evaluation descriptors and 9 molecular marker (microsatellites) descriptors. Development and management of the CGRD database was stopped in 2003 when funding was no longer available for this activity. Except for the Côte d’Ivoire genebank, the data were not updated. For 84% of the accessions, the latest inventories of the palms recorded in the CGRD date back 11 years or more. Many palms may have disappeared since that time. Characterization data stored in the CGRD database were never comparatively analyzed.

The viability and integrity of accessions worldwide needs to be urgently assessed. Around half of the global coconut accessions are more than 25 years old. At 25 to 30 years old, palms grow up to 15m high. The inflorescences become almost impossible to reach for controlled pollination. Also some countries are forced to regenerate their accessions using open pollination, because of a lack of equipment, expertise and funding.

The aim of the project:

The project is funded by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, and operating in 5 International Coconut genebank (Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, India and the Papua New Guinea) and with the collaboration of the CRI the project aims to :

  • Update and analyse the germplasm data from 6 major coconut genebanks, namely Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka; and revitalize the network in order to obtain data from other country members.
  • Improve the software “Coconut Genetic Resources Database” which is presently downloadable
  • Make the germplasm data available online on the COGENT website and through the GENESYS portal.
  • Design a standard procedure for assessing the quality and viability of accessions conserved in coconut genebanks.
  • Launch the process for updating the Global Coconut Conservation Strategy.

Research Areas-Tags

Crops, Accessions, Coconut, Genebank, Genetic Resources, Regeneration

External links

16th COGENT Steering Committee, 8-10 July, Kochi, Kerala, India

Project title

16th COGENT Steering Committee, 8-10 July, Kochi, Kerala, India

Project duration

1st May to 30th October 2012

Funding agency

 Global Crop Diversity Trust

Countries

Brazil, China, Fiji Islands, India, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Sultanate of Oman, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam, Vanuatu

Research Partners

Coordinating agency

Bioversity International

Project leader

Roland Bourdeix

Scientists

 

Project document

Click here (1.2MB) to download the final report of the project

Project summary

Created in 1992, the International Coconut Genetic Resources (COGENT) aims to strengthen international collaboration in conservation and use of coconut genetic resources; to promote improving coconut production on a sustainable basis, and to boost livelihoods and incomes of coconut stakeholders in developing countries. COGENT now comprises 39 country-members, representing more than 98% global coconut production.

In 2012, the first COGENT Steering Committee (SC) meeting for 5 years was held in Cochin India. As key outcomes of the meeting, the SC and participants from 18 countries produced 10 international recommendations on coconut research, and endorsed proposed improvements to the organization and operating rules of the network. The objective of the recommendations was to define research priorities for the next 10 years. Recommendations cover most research fields linked to coconut genetic resources management, including ex situ and in situ conservation, collecting gaps, in vitro culture, genomics, breeding, some phytopathological aspects, communications and geographical strategy. Upgrading COGENT’s organization was initiated in 2012 by conducting two organisational assessments and two participative meetings. The composition and the role of the Steering Committee (SC) was modified in order both to increase its stability and to allow other member-countries to fully participate in decision-making. It was agreed to hold biennial COGENT SC meetings. Other innovations are the creation of seven permanent International Thematic Action Groups (ITAGs), and the possibility of making remote decisions using two distinct processes. International recommendations and efficient network organization are crucial tools for upgrading the Global Coconut Conservation Strategy, initially published in 2008, and which will be fully revised in 2013. The two limiting factors remaining for upgrading the strategy are expertise in detailed budgeting for conservation and in legal issues linked to conservation at international level.

For further information, please contact Dr Roland Bourdeix on roland.bourdeix@cefe.cnrs.fr or Dr Stephan Weise on s.weise@cgiar.org

 

Project title

International Coconut Genebank for Latin America and the Carribean

Project duration

Start Date: 8 June 2006 | End Date: 31 December 2011

Funding agency

Brazilian Government

Countries

Brazil

Research Partners

Coordinating agency

Bioversity International

Project leader

Stephan Weise

Scientists

Project document

 Terminal report (4.2MB) 

Project summary

Approximately 10 months after planting, leaves were collected from the three naturalized populations of coconut, which were collected on the coast of the northeastern region of Brazil, in order to extract the DNA.

After quantification, the DNA of the samples were submitted to amplification via PCR using RAPD-type primers. The data was analyzed and there is a schedule for transferring the accessions from the nursery to the planting area in August 2009. The embryos of the twelve introduced accessions are developing at the laboratory for plant tissue culture at Embrapa - Coastal Tablelands.

The in vitro behavior of the accessions has been quite variable within the several evaluated characteristics. The mean percentage of normal germination among the accessions was 18.11%. It was observed that an average of 22.7% of the embryos did not germinate. The occurrence of inoculated embryos showing a slow or abnormal germination process was 25.20%. A progression of the fungus contamination was not observed. However, the contamination by bacteria grew considerably from 15.30% (November/08) to 33.98% (February/09).

The maintenance of the germplasm bank was guaranteed by weeding, fertilization and pest control, through chemical pesticides and biological control, for the accessions of giant and dwarf coconut. The area was expanded, as well as the irrigation process for the new area designated to planting. The activities proposed by the work plan LOA APO/08/002 were carried out to satisfaction, fully implementing the work plan 2008.

 

External links

EMBRAPA

 



Duration: September 2005 – September 2008

Countres: 10 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America

Project summary: Like many poor farmers in developing countries, smallholder coconut farmers – the backbone of the coconut industry – face limited  landholding, declining productivity and low, unstable price of coconut. They live in poverty, are food-insecure and have a low nutritional status. The project entitled Overcoming poverty in coconut-growing communities: Coconut genetic resources for sustainable livelihoods was implemented by Bioversity International through the International Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT) to develop and test strategies for incomegeneration in coconut-growing communities. The overall goal of the project was to help developing countries overcome poverty among marginalized coconut farmers through improved  coconutbased farming systems and the diversification of coconut products.

This study’s research hypothesis was that coconut farmers can overcome poverty through coconut-based interventions that generate income and improve the food security and nutrition status of their households, which, in turn, will motivate them to conserve coconut genetic resources. To test the hypothesis, the project focused on three major components (1) Community empowerment, relying on collective action through community-based organizations (CBOs) to integrate physical, natural, financial, social and human capital; (2) Income-generating interventions; and (3) Knowledge dissemination and networking. The interventions consisted of the production of intercrops, livestock and fodder and high-value products from all parts of the coconut. These interventions were supported by a microcredit system through a revolving fund and technical training (including CBO and microcredit management) provided through the CBOs.

The study involved communities in 10 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America which were surveyed to assess the socio-economic status of individual households at the start and at the end of the project, and to assess the effects of the project interventions on the households’ food security and nutrition status. At the global level, the mean annual income per capita was 795 international dollars1 before the project. Out of 14 communities, more than half (8) had less than 2 international dollars per capita per day and of those, three had less than 1 international dollar per day. In none of communities did the average income per capita reach 5 international dollars per day. On average, farm households had 2.19 hectares of farmland with means per community ranging from 0.08 hectares (Thodiyoor, India) to 9.88 hectares (Mexico) before the project.

For both income and food security, clearest impact has been reached at the global level and in India and the Philippines at the individual country level. Impact on food security of poor households was also clear, showing significant improvement in their ability to cope with food security shocks. At the global level, the results show a decrease in the number of short-term strategies used and an increase in number of long-term strategies which are similar to the project interventions, such as the use of home gardens, livestock, poultry and fisheries, and food processing. These long-term strategies are those that lead to more structural improvement.

Income diversification positively influenced household income in most countries. At the global level and in four out of seven countries, food security also improved. The project positively influenced expected annual household income at the global level, increasing it by 1778 international dollars, and at the national level, in four out of seven countries, with increases ranging from 836 (Philippines) to 1996 (Thailand) international dollars. A comparison of means of income diversification by country and community before and after the project shows that six out of 14 communities saw a significant diversification of their income while one community became more specialized. A significant diversification of income was seen at the global level. Three out of seven countries and seven out of 14 communities saw a significantly positive change in income derived from intercrops. At the global level the project has helped increase the income derived from intercrops by 192 international dollars per annum. Two out of four countries showed that the production of coconut high-value products  had a positive influence on off-farm income.

Of the farmers who participated in trainings on intercrop production, livestock rearing, high value product production and marketing, nursery establishment and plant breeding, and CBO management, 55% was female. Participation of women in total training was highest in India at 72% and lowest in Indonesia at 13%. At global level, lowest female participation was found for training on nursery management at 41%, and highest for high value products at 64%.

The nurseries served as models for efficient and effective production of planting materials, supporting on farm conservation of coconut genetic resources. By identifying,  characterizing, and documenting local, varieties, and by improving access to high-quality planting materials, on-farm conservation of coconut genetic resources was improved. A total of 48 coconut varieties were identified in ten countries through participatory processes, characterized and documented in this
project.

Project documents: Terminal report (1.2MB) -  Impact assesment report (0.9MB)

 

Project title

Regeneration of Accessions in the International Coconut Genebank
for Africa and the Indian Ocean

Project duration

Start Date: 1 November 2004 | End Date: 31 January 2011

Funding agency

Global Crop Diversity Trust

Countries

Cote d'Ivoire

Research Partners

  • CEFE
  • CIRAD- Département des Systèmes Biologiques (Cirad-Bios), France
  • Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA) - Cote d’Ivoire

Coordinating agency

Bioversity International

Project leader

Stephan Weise

Scientists

 


 

Background, overview and objectives

Globally, coconuts support more than 10 million sustainable livelihoods, providing materials for food and shelter; helping stabilize farming-systems, and generating income and employment. Benefits from better access to improved planting materials and management, post-harvest technologies and new marketing opportunities are likely to accrue to the poorest of rural populations, providing project strategies are explicit in this regard. Coconut is often the most viable cash crop, especially in Asia-Pacific countries such as India and the Philippines, and partly owing to its non-perishability and product-diversity. Coconut systems also allow for other cash crops to be intercropped, generating additional income. Global demand for coconut oil, and copra/ coconut oil prices have recently increased although price volatility remains a constraint.

Harnessing and conserving agro-biodiversity is critical to coconut production and its future. Bioversity International continues to support the development of a progressive global strategy for conserving coconut germplasm. It aims to cost-effectively optimize conservation of as much representative diversity as possible for the short, medium and long term.

The International Coconut Genebank (ICG), established to enable the efficient conservation, evaluation and safe movement of coconut germplasm, is composed of five regional field genebanks. These are hosted by Indonesia for Southeast and East Asia, Papua New Guinea for the South Pacific, India for South Asia, Côte d’Ivoire for Africa and the Indian Ocean, and Brazil for Latin America and the Caribbean. The regional field genebanks are established, maintained and managed by national programmes with guidance from the International Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT). This was founded by Bioversity International in 1992, as a global network of coconut producing countries, aimed at improving the production and use of coconut and the conservation of its diversity.

The ICG serves to:

  • Conserve nationally and regionally identified priority diversity;
  • Conserve internationally identified priority diversity;
  • Further assess the diversity, evaluate the performance of the conserved germplasm and disseminate these information
  • Make germplasm available in accordance with agreed protocols; and
  • Conduct research and training

The aim of the project:

Funded by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, and operating in Côte d’Ivoire, the project aims to regenerate 50 ageing coconut accessions held in the International Coconut Genebank for Africa and the Indian Ocean (ICG-IAO).

By February 2010, the completion rate of the project was estimated at 72%: 32 of the 50 accessions (64%) have reached a sufficient number of palms planted in the field, 10 more have been partially replanted. The project is being implemented by Bioversity International in partnership with CNRA, Côte d’Ivoire through its Coconut Programme. The project has continued clearing and planting activities, and gathering, inputting and transferring data from both rejuvenated and parent accessions. Field visits have appraised progress in planting and data management and helped frame plans for the no-cost extension (to 31/01/2011) to complete the regeneration work.

Research Areas-Tags

Agrobiodiversity, Crops, Accessions, Coconut, Genebank, Genetic Resources, Regeneration

External links

 

 

You are here: Home Projects Past projects