Friday, 6 October 2017

Preparation of the world first regional coconut varietal contest

By Roland Bourdeix and Thierry Leroy

To download this poster, click here
We are planning to organize an international contest of the most beautiful and rarest coconut varieties for the whole Pacific region. The first step is to estimate the feasibility of this contest and gather information to prepare it. Countries that will provide the highest response rate will be those in which the contests will be organized as a priority. Ten prizes will be awarded at the national level in each country. Then, by comparing the data obtained in each country, an international jury could  designate the winners at the regional level.
In each of the ten categories, winners of the competition will be awarded a cash prize, privileged access to training sessions organized by the coconut sector, and increased opportunity to interact with local and international scientists working on the coconut palm.
For organizing this contest, we will use the Kobotoolbox software , which allows to design questionnaires that users can fill directly from their mobile phones or from a computer. Virtually each farmer has someone in his or her family who has a mobile phone to capture that data. However, a paper version of the questionnaire will also be available for those who do not wish to use a mobile phone. They will have to send  by post this paper questionnaire  and the requested photos to the organizers of the contest.




Collect data on your own mobile phone or any device in your browser:  For iPhones or all other device that has a web browser, use the following link to enter data - even offline:
https://ee.kobotoolbox.org/x/#YNQ3
(Or if you have a barcode scanner on your phone, just scan the barcode picture on the right)

The questionnaire for this contest is also available online (internet version, in this case the questionnaire can only be completed from a computer connected to internet)






We prepared this online survey using kobo toolbox software. Here are the questions that we included in the survey:

A. In which category do you classify the variety of coconut palm that you wish to describe?

  1. The longest fruit (coconut with husk)
  2. The most voluminous fruit (coconut with husk)
  3. The most voluminous coconut (without husk)
  4. The healthy whole fruit with the lowest proportion of husk
  5. The coconut that contains the highest albumen weigth (white meat)
  6. The tendernut with most scented and delicious water
  7. Coconuts with meat particularly tender or tasty (Makapuno, Pia or others)
  8. The most productive Tall-type variety in terms of meat production per hectare
  9. The most beautiful Compact Dwarf coconut
  10. Other extraordinary varieties: horned coconut, palms with several trunks, coco making cuttings...

More information on these varieties can be found here

B. What is your goal of participation? - Multiple responses possible: only (1) (2.4) (3.4) (4)
  1. I only wish to point out the existence of an interesting variety of coconut
  2. I already market coconut seednuts and want to find new markets
  3. I want to start marketing coconut seednuts
  4. I would like to participate in the future varietal contest

C. if (4) Confirm your acceptance of the contest rules, available here Yes / No. If not, exit questionnaire.

D. Please confirm that the information, photographs and videos released about the variety, as well as its geographical location, can be used free of rights for the only purpose of identification and illustration of the coconut varieties. This acceptance is mandatory for your participation.

E. Would you like your name to be publicly associated with this varietal information, so that everyone knows that you are one of the custodian of the variety. Yes No

F. Do you want your contacts (email, phone) to be publicly associated with this varietal information, so that those interested in this variety can contact you. Yes No.

G. Brief description of the variety -  If you give weights and sizes (for instance lengh of the whole husked fruit) please use preferably centimeters and grammes.

H. Origin of the variety
  1. Local - selected by me
  2. Local - selected by my family
  3. Local - selected in the village
  4. Local - available in many places in the country
  5. Imported from another country - if imported, from where?
  6. Unknown
I. Traditional name of the variety (in local language)

J. Precise the language in wich this name is given

K. Translation in english of the name of the variety (optional)
L. How many coconuts palms of this variety do you know (give an approximate number)

M. Please provide a first picture: overview of the palm, with possibly the farmer in the photo (if the farmer agrees for the publication of his/her portrait). Mandatory.
O. Please provide a second picture: Photo 2 view of the whole fruits or the husked coconuts (depending of the contest category you choose)
P. Photo 3 (optional) cutting the whole fruit
Q. Short video of the variety (optional, and not more than one minute)
R. Latitude of planting site of the variety
S. Longitude of planting site of  the variety
T. Additional information on cultivation practices used for this variety: do you apply fertilizers, do you grow these coconut palms in association with other crops and if so which ones, is the plantation managed in an organic or conventional manner?
U. Do you think this variety is threatened and if so, by what factors?
V. Name of the person who describes the variety (published only if previously agreed)
W. Given names  (published only if previously agreed)
X. Age:
Y. Gender: male female
Z. Address
a. Country
b. Email
c. Phone number
d. Second Phone number
e. I understand that I can modify the information I provided by sending an email to CIDP@spc.int, or by sending a letter to CIDP project, SPC Campus, Private Mail Bag, Suva, Fiji. (Yes, mandatory).


Draft Rules of the contest  (need refinement)

This competition will be carried out at the national level on the basis of free and voluntary participation by coconut farmers and other stakeholders. It concerns exclusively traditional coconut varieties, not modern varieties such as hybrids. This contest will discern ten prizes, corresponding to the following characteristics:
  1. The longest fruit (coconut with husk)
  2. The most voluminous fruit (coconut with husk)
  3. The most voluminous coconut (without husk)
  4. The healthy fruit with the lowest proportion of husk
  5. The coconut that contains the highest albumen (white meat)
  6. The tedernut with most scented and delicious in water
  7. Coconuts with meat particularly tender or tasty (Makapuno, Pia or others)
  8. The most productive Tall-type variety in terms of meat production per hectare.
  9. The most beautiful Compact Dwarf coconut
  10. Other extraordinary varieties: horned coconut, palms with several trunks, coco making cuttings...
The contestant agrees to give the jury two mature fruits, guaranteeing that they will been taken from the same coconut tree. For categories 1 to 3, measurements will be taken by the Jury on the two nuts; the average of these two fruits will be considered for the ranking. One of the two fruits will then be cut in half to judge the composition, estimate the weight of the components and make photos. For category 4, it must be checked that the surface of the husk has not been damaged by pests, as insect or mite attacks can artificially reduce the husk volume. For the winner of the contest, the uncut fruit will finally be given to the National Museum for storage and display to the public.

For categories 6 and 7: the tedernut with most scented and delicious in water; Coconuts with particularly tender or tasty meat (Makapuno, Pia or others); The contestant agrees to deliver to the jury five fruits, guaranteeing on the honor that they come from the same coconut tree or the same variety. These fruits will be used to carry out a tasting session  that will be carried out blindly by the jury and will allow the ranking.

For categories 8 to 10, the selection will be made in two stages. From the photos and information provided by the participants, the jury will select the five best varieties of each category. Secondly, members of the jury will visit the trees on farmer's field and will make additional photos and videos. The final selection of the jury will take into account this new information. For compact dwarfs, the trees will be prioritized according to the color of the fruit, by order of orange/red, yellow, green and brown. However a green or brown Compact dwarf may win the competition if it has truly exceptional characteristics. Compact dwarfs are distinguished from other dwarfs by the fact that they have a wider trunk at the base (bole), very low height growth and rather broad leaflets.

Composition and role of the Jury
In each country, the national jury will consist of a panel of seven members comprising five coconut farmers recognized for their competence, who are members of professional organizations, and who do not participate themselves to the contest. The sixth member shall be appointed from the Ministry of Agriculture. The seventh member will be the international researcher at the origin of this contest. The decisions of the jury will be made by majority.

In each country, the jury will nominate one of its members to become a member of the international jury. The latter will consist of one member per country, plus one representative from APCC and / or SPC plus the international researcher who initiated the contest.

Diffusion of the variety and delivery ceremony
The participant accepts a moral commitment that if his/her variety is ranked in the first five of the national contest, he/she will save and multiplicate this variety in order to preserve and improve it. He will accept to distribute the variety, according to his choice, to his family, his village or the whole country, whether commercially or graciously. The participant undertakes to attend the award ceremony, which will be attended by official representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and professional organizations of the coconut sector.

Awards
In each of the ten categories, winners of the competition will be awarded a cash prize, a privileged access to training organized by the coconut sector, and the increased opportunity to interact with local and international scientists working on the coconut palm.

Other Information

When in Samoa in Nuu Research Center, Dr R. Bourdeix discovered than a previous and more simple coconut varietal contest have been organized in 1984 in Samoa. 


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