No Coconut genebank
Mr Jose Sancho Cumbi
Mozambique Tall (MZT)
The Republic of Mozambique is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest.
Coconut in Mozambique is mostly grown along the coast. Coconut production is mainly a family based enterprise with more than 60% of the stands located in small landholdings. It is estimated that about 14% of the Mozambican population depends on the crop as their main source of income and nutrition or food. The country’s total production is about 60 000 tonnes of copra-equivalent, of which 50% is consumed locally. Revenue from coconut exports was about US$ 10 million annually in 2004 (Cumbi 2005). Coconut production in Mozambique is mainly affected by the following: lack of improved germplasm; high incidence of pests and disease, particularly the lethal yellowing disease (LYD). Outbreaks of this disease now threaten the industry and the livelihood of over 1.7 million people in Zambézia and Nampula Provinces.
The extent of coconut germplasm diversity in Mozambique has not yet been fully investigated. Most of the local cultivars are of Tall types that fall under the general category of Mozambican Tall. Therefore, there is an urgent need to characterize and conserve the country’s local germplasm. Some germplasm was introduced into the country in the early 1980’s by the Madal Company in Zambezia Province. Some of the introduced varieties included Brazilian Green Dwarf, Brazilian Yellow Dwarf, Malaysian Red Dwarf and Malaysian Yellow Dwarf. These materials were used in the production of hybrids by the Madal Company, primarily for new plantings and rehabilitation of old stands. Mozambique has yet to have a national coconut research programme.
In the framework of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the « Farmer Income Support Project » with a budget of US$17.4 millions, was developed in order to reduce the spread of LYD, to improve productivity of coconut products, and to encourage diversification into other cash crop production. This project will eliminate biological and technical barriers that hinder economic growth among farms and targeted enterprises while supporting diversification into other cash crops and improved farming practices to assist smallholders and producers recover lost income. In conjunction with tree removal and replacement, this activity will assist farmers in adopting new cropping systems and developing alternative sources of cash income during the time required for new coconut trees to reach productive age. This component will also provide technical support to introduce better practices aimed at increasing crop yields.
More info: Conserved coconut germplasm from Mozambique (1.9MB)
Collaborative Activities between BIOVERSITY/COGENT and Mozambique
1. Capacity Building
a) Technical assistance/expert advice
In 1998 and 2001, two experts visited Mozambique to identify research and development needs and to formulate an Africa/Indian Ocean coconut regional project proposal and assisted in the conduct of the multilocational trial project.
b) Training and human resources development
To date, no COGENT-sponsored training course has been held in the country.
On the other hand, two local staff from partner coconut research institutions in Mozambique have undergone staff development training in 1997 and 2002 including the STANTECH training of trainer’s course and the standardized research techniques in coconut breeding.
c) COGENT meetings/workshops
No COGENT –sponsored or –initiated meetings or workshops have been held in the country.
2. Research Projects
One project was carried out in the country, with the INIA / GRUPO MADAL as the implementing agency.
3. Financial Support and Funding
Portugal provided funding support for project in Mozambique totaling US$11,500, with the national government providing counterpart funding of US$6,000.