Who/what is Deejay Coconut Farm Pvt Ltd?
DCFP is a company that has focused on the hybridization of coconut palms for over 35 years, we produce the fastest yielding and highest producing coconut palms on earth.
What is a hybrid?
A hybrid coconut seedling is a cross between a dwarf palm and a tall palm. The good characteristics of both get concentrated in the progeny called a hybrid. This factor is called ‘Hybrid Vigour’. Through a scientific selection process, the best hybrid is chosen for sale, which has the best commercial characteristics of productivity. A hybrid coconut seedling is not made in a lab but made in the field by hand pollinating one tree with pollen from another.
Is a hybrid a GMO or genetically modified organism?
A deejay hybrid is the result of selective breeding and hand pollination and not the result of genetically modifying the plant.
How is a hybrid produced?
We emasculate the spathe or flower stem, which has about 10,000 male flowers and 20 to 80 female buttons on each. Every male flower is removed before it matures and can produce pollen. Then a few days later when the female buttons start maturing, we hand pollinate each female button by brush over a period of 10 days. A percentage of these buttons mature and become hybrid nuts. They are harvested 12 months later, selected and put into nursery beds, and six months later the hybrid seedling is ready for sale.
Are all the seedlings produced in this manner are hybrids?
Unfortunately not. The bees and other pollinators bring illegitimate pollen from the wrong palms and we sometimes have up to 30% illegitimate seedlings. These are destroyed at the Deejay nursery. Hence our customers are assured of getting 100% hybrid seedlings. Other dealers are happy to pass of these plants as hybrids bringing down productivity and profits.
What is special about the Deejay hybrid coconut seedling?
It starts flowering from the 3rd year of planting [as against 6 years in the tall variety]; it yields more than three times the number of coconuts annually compared to the best Tall under good management [250 nuts as against 80 nuts], and the nut size is more than 30% larger [1.5 de-husked coconuts to the Kg, compared to 2.5 nuts to the Kg].
Why should I buy your hybrid when other hybrids and varieties are available from Agricultural colleges and Government Farms?
All such institutions are mandated to produce better planting material for the farmer. However, giving hundreds of choices to a farmer makes no sense, as he has to, live for the rest of his life with the choice he/she makes, be it good, or bad. The coconut tree is planted only once in a lifetime. One must plant the best. When planting coconut seedlings, a good seedling is not good enough when the best is available given the income implications over the rest of the farmer’s life.
Where else is the Deejay hybrid grown?
We have three joint ventures presently in Africa and in the Philippines and others are presently under negotiation. Our Sampoorna seedlings are being exported to countries that allow import.
How have you judged the performance of your Sampoorna?
There are over two and a half million Sampoorna palms yielding in customer’s farms, all over South India, but mostly in Tamil Nadu. Unfortunately, our customers do not keep accurate records. We speak to hundreds of them on a regular basis, and our estimations are based on their feedback. However, seeing is believing, and we are happy to help you meet some of our customers and see the results for yourselves.
Other seedlings are available for a much cheaper rate. Why should I buy your seedlings?
A cheaper seedling is not ‘cheaper’. Cheaper seedlings produce less, produce slower, use more resources, and in the long term cost the farmer far more. Many seedlings among cheaper hybrids are not hybrids as quality control is lacking.
Let us explain. Deejays adopt severe quality control measures and sometimes have to destroy up to 30% of the seedlings that do not fulfill our quality control standard. By planting the Sampoorna, your investment will reduce by Rs.500 per palm due to early flowering and earlier yields, and quicker profits. You will earn an additional Rs. 80 lakhs per acre in the lifetime of your farm from Deejay Sampoorna when compared to any other tall variety and far more if you go in for value-added products or Neera cultivation.
Is the Sampoorna good for the production of Tender Coconut Water [TCW]?
The Sampoorna has double the quantity of TCW or 500 ml compared to the normal nut of 250 ml, and the water is sweeter – 5.5 BRIX compared to 3.5 BRIX. [BRIX is the percentage of sugar in the liquid.]
Where are your breeding farms?
Our breeding farms are in Tamil Nadu, Goa, Karnataka, and AP, totaling over 600 acres. Our present production of 5 lakh seedlings is steadily rising to 10 lakh seedlings per annum. Deejay is the only organization in the world who has computerized all records, and today has a database of 30,000 palms over 35 years specifically used for the selection and breeding of better hybrids.
How does your computerised records help you?
We do pedigreed breeding. This means that we know the mother and the father of each and every breeder on our farms. We have a highly qualified and competent full-time research team. The computer selects 2% of the palms which are the highest producers from 30,000 i.e. 600 palms. Then we laboriously go through each of these 600 palms’ records, rejecting 400 by checking the characteristics of each one – over 30 palm and nut characteristics. These “Grand Mothers” and “Grand Fathers” produce the improved mother palms which produce the hybrids. This selection process ensures the production of high yielding hybrid coconut seedlings.
Can I do intercropping among Deejay palms?
Yes, you can dramatically increase the returns from your lands by planting spices, vegetables, cereals, and fruit plants as intercrops.
Does it make sense to do value addition to the coconuts?
Yes, certainly. This is where huge profits are possible. The market for coconut products is increasing around the world. If you grow your own coconuts and produce value-added products, your costs will be just one third the cost of production with the Sampoorna Hybrid. We are happy to put you in touch with the right people in our company for further advice.
Is marketing of coconuts difficult?
No, it is not. Coconut farming is well established in India and the markets are organized.