A coconut breeding project involves
The identification of the right level of immaturity of the flower spathe in the dwarf mother palm.
Manually cutting it open to remove every male flower (10,000 plus) in the spathe, without damaging or touching the female buttons.
Scratching the date of emasculation on each leaf stem for the record and easy interpretation of growth in the months to come.
Spraying a protective coat of insect retardants.
Separately preparing little vials of pollen collected from selected Tall palms, processed in and sent from our laboratory in our estate in Madurai under special conditions to preserve the viability.
Manually brush pollinating the female buttons after some days when they mature, one button at a time over a period of 7 to 10 days, as each button matures, requiring a person to visit or climb the tree each time.
Counting the number of buttons for the computerized record of every palm – i.e. “Button count”.
Checking the button count after 120 days for the record and for estimation of production of seed nuts and seedlings in the future.
This may be repeated approx 18 times or more per mother palm per month for every spathe that emerges from every leaf.
Nuts are harvested depending on the season and the level of maturity of the nut between 11 months and 13 months of age. The records of every single tree are maintained separately and monthly.