CoGent Network

Country sheets


Country information


Eng. Abdulaziz Bin Mansoor Ghalib Al-Shanfari
Director of Agricultural and Livestock Research Stations (ALRS) Dophar
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
Cogent country representative
Sultanate of Oman
Phone: +968 23290186
Fax: +968 23290479

Eng. Anwar Ahmed Amur Bait Fadhil
Fruit Researcher
COGENT alternate country representative
Salalah Agricultural Research Station,
Directorate General of Agriculture & Livestock Research
P.O. Box 50 Seeb P.C.: 121 Rumais
Phone: +96823290186
Email :

Sultanate of Oman

 Oman flag

The Sultanate of Oman is a Middle Eastern country and one of the Global Plan of Action (GPA) on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA) members. It has a contrasting landscape; from mountains to sea, from desert to greenery. The Dhofar plain is located in the corner of Oman’s southwest; it comprises fertile lands and surrounding mountains affected annually by the Indian monsoon during June to September. The moderate climate all year round (20°C – 33°C and 70% - 90% RH) of this plain makes it suitable for growing trees and other tropical fruits. Coconut trees are mainly concentrated in these lands, particularly in Salalah city. They are mostly grown under small-holding farms (not more than 2.5 ha per farm) and depend on ground well-irrigation system.


Coconut research and organization

The Salalah Agricultural Research Station (SARS) was launched in 1982 with 9 specific laboratories/units in plant production and protection applications. It relies on the support of the ministry of agriculture and fisheries and is dedicated to plant production and protection.
Oman’s current main trial is linked to the integrated management project on coconut mite (Aceria guerreronis). This program includes a research protocol for the conservation and enrichment of the coconut germplasm in Dhofar. It consists of identifying local coconut varieties, introduce new coconut varieties and screening for resistance of coconut varieties to the coconut mite. The Omani strategy for conserving traditional tall varieties involves avoiding contamination by imported varieties, providing good quality coconut seed nuts for Omani farmers and enriching germplasm, leading to breeding new varieties.


The history of coconut germplasm in Oman

In Oman, coconut has a centuries-long history linked with the socio-economic concerns of communities resident in the Dhofar governorate, therefore there are several agricultural authorities dealing with coconut development services in Oman. Indeed (Cocos nucifera) is an economically important crop in the Sultanate of Oman.
This country contains about 200,000 coconut palms and around 91% of these are located on the Dhofar plain. Between 1983 and 1988 several new coconut varieties were imported from Sri Lanka and Malaysia via the ministry of agriculture and fisheries. The number of imported seed-nuts and seedlings reached about 40 000. The most identified varieties were: Sri Lanka Green Dwarfs, Sri Lanka yellow Dwarf, Kalim Bahim (dwarf x tall hybrids) MAWA hybrid, Malaysia Yellow Dwarf, King Coconut, CRIC65 (Tall x Green Dwarf) CRIC65 (Tall x Yellow Dwarf). These varieties have been re-identified and confirmed later on by Dr Roland Bourdeix and Lalith Perera in 2009.
The Oman strategy for conservation of traditional tall varieties involves: avoiding contamination of imported varieties, provide good quality coconut seed nuts to Omani farmers and enrichment of germplasm leading to breeding of new varieties.

The strategy plan was launched in 2009 with the assistance of Dr Roland Bourdeix and Lalith Perera with the implementation of the following activities:

-    Identification of local and exotic varieties in farms and research station farms.

-    Physical description of 470 trees (i.e. Botanical characteristics and morphometric measurements) and around 175 of indigenous coconut subjected to DNA analysis. The remaining trees are awaiting further DNA analysis.

-    Eleven of new coconut varieties were introduced and planted in 2010 – 2011 from the international genebank of Côte d’Ivoire, as 7 dwarf varieties, 2 tall varieties and 2 hybrid varieties.

-    Establishing good international cooperation with centres such as COGENT in order to exchange common interests in the scope of coconut development, leading to the establishment of a genebank in Salalah where coconut trees become a common concern, especially for private and indigenous uses in households and tourist resources extending to the Middle Eastern coast and countries of the Arabian Gulf in particular.


Country information


No genebank registered.


Fung Kon Sang, E.
Ministry of Agriculture. Agricultural Experiment Station
PO Box 160,

Surinam Brown Dwarf (SUBD)
(Image: J. Oliver)

Surinam - officially the Republic of Surinam - is a country in northern South America. The official language of Surinam is Dutch which makes it one of four non-Spanish-speaking states in South America along with Brazil, which is Lusophone, Guyana, which is Anglophone and French Guiana, which is Francophone. Surinam is situated between French Guiana to the east and Guyana to the west. The southern border is shared with Brazil and the northern border is the Atlantic coast.

In the 1980’s, trials for resistance to the Heart-rot disease of coconuts was carried out on a number of varieties and hybrids of these varieties. The varieties used were: Malayan Dwarfs; Sri Lanka Green Dwarf; Sri Lanka Red Dwarf, Sri Lanka Yellow Dwarf, a Surinam Dwarf and a Surinam Tall. It was observed that all varieties succumbed to Heart-rot disease, but it seems that some difference exists between varieties in their susceptibility to the disease.

More info: pdf.png Conserved coconut germplasm from Surinam (2.0MB)


Trinidad & Tobago

Country information


No genebank recorded.


Cynthra Persad
Director of Research
Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources
Central Experimental Station Centeno
via Arima PO
Trinidad and Tobago
Phone: (+1-868) 646 7657
Fax: (+1-868) 646 1646

Saint Vincent Tall (STVT)
(Image: J. Oliver)

The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelago state in the southern Caribbean, lying northeast of Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles. It shares maritime boundaries with other nations including: Barbados to the northeast, Guyana to the southeast, and Venezuela to the south and west. The country covers an area of 5128 km² and consists of two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and numerous smaller landforms. Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the main islands; Tobago is much smaller, comprising about 6% of the total area and 4% of the population.

The economy is largely based on oil and gas, which accounts for 40% of GDP and 80% of exports. As a result, focus has been on this sector and inadequate attention has been paid to the agricultural sector (MALMR 2008). The agriculture sector has declined in importance as a source of  employment, despite a 13% national unemployment rate. It also provides the lowest average income in the country. For decades Trinidad and Tobago has been a net importer of food, with the level of food imports being 181% of exports in 1999. Structural transformation of the economy with development, led to primary productivity having an ever reducing share of the GDP with an accompanying parallel reduction in the labour force, partly due to increased competition from new growth sectors (e.g. tourism, manufacturing and services) and loss of essential resources (e.g. land, capital and labour). Developments of international trade have also added to the current agricultural problems of reduced capacity, production, exports, income, profitability and competitiveness.

Under the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources (MALMR), the Fruit Crops Unit undertakes research work on coconut, banana and other tree crops. Regarding coconut, its main current objective is to develop a coconut-water industry for small farmers.

Coconut farmers registered under the Farmers’ Registration Programme are eligible for incentives, for the establishment of new fields (25% of the cost up to $1200/ha) as well as for rehabilitation of old fields (25% of the cost up to $1000/ha). Applications for these incentives must be made on the form provided by the MALMR, and submitted with proof of interest in land, and receipts for goods and services.

More info: pdf.png Conserved coconut germplasm from Trinidad & Tobago (1.6MB)



Country information


No ex situ genebank recorded.



Mr. Antoine M Moustache
Crop Development and Promotion Division
Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources
PO Box 166, Grand Anse, Victoria Mahe
Phone: (+248) 378252/ 378312
Fax: (+248) 225425

Seychelles Tall (SCT)
(Image: J. Oliver)

The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago nation of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some 1500 km east of mainland Africa, and northeast of the island of Madagascar. Seychelles has the smallest population of any state in Africa.

There are hundreds of known and documented uses for the coconut in Seychelles. Although the Tree of Life finds many uses in the everyday life of the Seychellois, there is an urgent need to review some of these products as potential income earners  (Moustache 2005). With the rapid rate of social development and competition for land by other economic sectors such as tourism and manufacturing, there is less and less land available for agriculture. Thus, future coconut plantations may have to be of lesser acreage, planted more densely or  managed in complementation with another purpose (e.g. lending aesthetic value to ecotourism centres).

Scientific research on coconut had its heyday in Seychelles when the export of copra was the mainstay of the economy before the tourism boom in the early 1970s. Thereafter, research focused on the selection of better performing varieties that were well adapted to the poor granitic soils and showed positive response to fertilizers and other inputs. Most of the coconuts planted in the country are local Talls. These Talls are made up of a number of different varieties characterized by different nut sizes, shapes and productivity but with no apparent differences in tree morphology. Among the common local varieties planted are Coco Raisin, Coco le Haut, Coco le Rein and Coco Bleu. In a bid to boost coconut production, Seychelles imported some 10,000 nuts from  Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) during the years 1906-1911. Studies conducted in 1935 found that these imported varieties were inferior to the local Talls as they required far more intensive cultural practices and were more prone to  diseases. In 1931, Dwarf coconuts were introduced from the Malay States, particularly the Malayan Yellow and Malayan Red Dwarfs (MYD and MRD). Fruits of these varieties are mostly used for decorative purposes and  consumed locally or sold to tourists as tender-nuts for drinking.In 1994,  Pakistan, the last remaining importer of coconut and copra from Seychelles at that time, ceased coconut-related transactions with the country. This spelled doom for most coconut farmers and growers in Seychelles who depended solely on the crop and did not have alternative sources of income. Since then, national coconut research priority has shifted to “finding new uses for an old product”.

More info: pdf.png Conserved coconut germplasm from the Seychelles (1.5MB)



Country information


No registered coconut genebank



Sr Roberto Enrique Mancilla Conte
Consejo para la Protección de las Obtenciones Vegetales
Ministerio de Desarrollo Agropecuario
Vía aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen
Río Tapia
Panama city, Panama
Phone: (+507) 2207079
Fax: (+507) 2662943

Panama Tall (PNT)
(Image: J. Oliver)

The Republic of Panama is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south.

Coconut was present in Panama from pre-Columbian times but its origin and introduction date is unknown (Zizumbo and Quero 1998). For centuries, agriculture was the dominant economic activity for most of Panama’s population. After the construction of the canal, agriculture declined and the proportion of the labour force in agriculture dropped. As far as we know, there is no research conducted by national researchers on the coconut palm.  Furthermore, the popularity of Panama Talls peaked in the 1980s, when studies conducted in Jamaica concluded that, along with their hybrids, they were among the varieties with greatest tolerance to lethal yellowing. In Jamaica, following periods of severe hurricane activity in 1903, 1904, 1912-1917, large numbers of nuts of the Panama Tall variety were imported from the San Blas Islands of Panama. Again, in 1922, there was further importation of nuts from Panama. Over the years, multipurpose variety trials have yielded useful data on windstorm damage. Following a hurricane in 1944, it was reported that 60% of 30,560 Jamaica Talls were destroyed compared with only 6% of 5120 Panama Talls (Harries 1975). In Panama, a Coconut disease of great concern is Porroca or little leaf disease. The disease recently entered an epidemic phase, spreading along the Caribbean coast and extending inland 40 km west of the Panama Canal (Gilbert and Parker 2001).

More info: pdf.png Conserved coconut germplasm from Panama (2.4MB); Part 2 (1.3MB)

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