Monday, May 27, 2019


COCONUT (Cocos nucifera) are the fourth important crop in Malaysia after Palm Oil, Rubber and Paddy. There are Tall Variety and Dwarf Variety of coconut grown in Malaysia whereby about 15 variety are registered with Department of Agriculture. There are few hybrid variety introduced for commercial planting in Malaysia since early 1960 including MAWA and in year 2000 that is MATAG. The MAWA and MATAG cononuts are the result of hybridization between the local dwarf coconut and a selected tall variety. MAWA are crossed between Malayan Dwarf Variety (MRD or MYD) with West African Tall and MATAG are crossed between two Malayan Dwarf variety (MRD or MYD) with Tagnanan Tall variety. The dwarf parent acts as the mother palm, whereas the tall parent serves as pollen donor. The choice of parental coconut varieties depend on the inherent characteristics possessed by both; the dwarf parent has earlier maturity, fruit bearing and shorter height increment, while the tall parent produces a high number of female flower "buttons", has larger coconuts, and has superior kernel quality. This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" I would like to share my technical knowhow about both MAWA and MATAG coconut that make a debut in Malaysia for many years.

Reseach data from Malaysian Authority shows that the performance of both MAWA and MATAG are significantly excellent. Data collected from 1987 - 2007(20 years) shows that the nuts pr tree are 182 - 190 nut and the total of nut per bunch are recorded at 17.2 for both variety. However the amount of copra recorded higer quantity for MAWA variety (47.6 kg / palm) compare to only 40.6 kg/ palm for MATAG variety. As can be seen from the table above, each hybrid has its own merit in terms of production and yield. While the MAWA produces 4.5% more nuts per palm compared to MATAG, its smaller nut size results in it producing 17.2% less copra. The following photo shows a comparison of the copra and nut size of the the Malayan Tall, MATAG and MAWA coconuts respectively. The hybrid coconut yield performance picks up and gradually reaches a peak about 15 years after first bearing. Overall, both hybrids match each other in terms of production, with the MAWA marginally outperforming the MATAG in nut production. However, in terms of copra yield, the MATAG soundly beats the MAWA, especially in the first 15 years of production. Bunch production is very much static, except for a few years where severe drought had been experienced in the trial plots. From my observation, throughout the evaluation period, yield performance tended to fluctuate. However, this type of fluctuation is actually quite typical of coconuts; after a year with high productivity, the next year will typically experience a drop in yield. In addition, environmental stressors such as the annual drought season and El-Nino/La Nina cycles will have a dramatic impact upon yield. Thanks for reading this article.
Writer wih a MATAG Coconut at Johor State.

M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Taman Bandar Baru UDA,
Johor Bahru, Johor,
(4 September 2018).

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