CoGent Network

Seychelles

Country information

Genebank

No ex situ genebank recorded.

 

Contact

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

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)

 

The Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT) aims to promote national, regional and global collaboration among coconut-producing countries and
partner institutions in the conservation and use of coconut genetic resources for enhanced livelihoods.

The COGENT website is maintained by Bioversity International - Montpellier office.

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