The team headed by Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw, Executive Director, visited for the appraisal of the International Coconut Genebank-Latin America and Caribbean (ICG-LAC) located in Aracaju, Sergipe in Brazil hosted by the Embrapa Coastal Tablelands, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa). The other members accompanied are Mrs. Erlene C. Manohar, Cogent Coordinator, Ms. Mridula Kottekate, Assistant Director, Mr. Vincent Johnson, Cogent Support and Dr. Niral Vittal, Principal Scientist and Breeder. The activity was one of the program of the International Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT) which is now one of the major programs under ICC. The appraisal conducted was the fourth in series of the five ICGs located in five regions i.e., ICG-SEA-Indonesia, ICG-SAME-India, ICG-SP-PNG, ICG-AIO-Ivory Coast, and ICG-LAC-Brazil. The main objective of conducting the ICG appraisal is to assess the collections’ overall capacity and needs, including: i) hosting agreement status; ii) management effectiveness; iii) roles, services and use, and linkages with users and other stakeholders; iv) performance targets and work plans; and v) collection status within the global context.
The appraisal of the ICG-LAC was conducted from 11th to 14th April. A technical session was organised to discuss the programs and activities of ICC and Cogent as well as the research activities of Embrapa. During the session Dr. Marcus A. S. Cruz, General Head Embrapa Coastal tablelands delivered the welcome address and Dr. Marcelo F. Fernandez, Head of Research presented the research activities of Embrapa, Dr. Emiliano Costa, Curator ICG-LAC explained the activities of the ICG and Dr. Ana Leda presented the tissue culture programs of Embrapa. Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw, Executive Director, presented the activities and programs of ICC and discussed the potential collaboration of Embrapa and the government of Brazil to become member of ICC. Dr. Cruz and Dr. Marcelo assured full support and assistance in this regard.
The other researchers of Embrapa attended were Mr. Saulo Coelho Nunes, Communication Officer, Dr. Viviane Talamini, Researcher Phytopathologist, Dr. Edson Patto, Researcher Soil and Conservation and drone specialist, Dr. Adenir Vieira Teodoro, Researcher, Entomologist. The appraisal team visited the germplasm collections both in Itaporanga and Betume experimental gardens. There are 30 accessions (13 tall and 17 dwarf varieties) are maintained in the experimental gardens. Mr. Eriualdo Fonseca Moraes, Technician and supervisor and Mr. Cleversonmatos, Technician explained the activities of the sites. Dr. Marcelo F. Fernandes, Head Research, Dr. Emilian Costa, Curator and Mr. Saulo Nunes accompanied the team to the sites. The appraisal team also visited one of the private coconut garden planted with Brazilian green dwarf varieties in an area of 160 ha in Neopolies Plateau, mainly used for coconut water and selling in to the market as fresh coconut. The team also visited the tissue culture laboratory, molecular marking laboratory, phytopathology and entomology research division and had interaction with the researchers.
Mrs. Erlene Manohar, COGENT coordinator and Mr. Vincent Johnson Cogent support had Focus Group Discussion with the Embrapa team and discussed on the activities of the economic analysis of the ICGs and helped the team in preparing the action plan on the activities to be carried in ICG. During the discussion session the team members Dr. Niral Vittal, and Dr. Jelfina Alouw, presented their field observation on general maintenance, breeding and plant protection aspects with the members of Embrapa. There was in depth discussion on various aspects related to the maintenance of the ICG and Dr. Jelfina assured full support and technical assistance from ICC in coordinating the activities of ICG with other member countries.