By Roland Bourdeix, Malua Solinuu. Valerie Saena Tuia and Alofa Leuluaialii

This website returns the information collected during four scientific visits conducted in 2001, 2010, 2012 and 2017 on behalf the Ministry of Agriculture of Samoa, the International Coconut Genetic Resources Network, the Secretatiat of the South Pacific Community, the Global Crop Diversity Trust, Bioversity International, CIRAD (French Centre for Agricultural Research and Development), the Coconut Industry Development for the Pacific (CIDP project) and the Darwin Initiative "Saving Pacific Coconuts".



General overview

Samoa, officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa, is a sovereign state in Polynesia, encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. The entire island group, inclusive of American Samoa, was known as the Navigators Islands before the 20th century because of the Samoans’ seafaring skills.

Coconut is the most predominant crop grown in Samoa. Its traditional value and multipurpose uses make it one of the most important crops in the everyday lives of Samoans as an important source of food and cash.

This website was recently updated in the framework of two projects:
1. The UK Darwin Initiative project "Upgrading and broadening the new South-Pacific International Coconut Genebank" (reference 23-008) runs from June 2016 to March 2019. This project is being coordinated by Bioversity International; COGENT (the International Coconut Genetic Resources Network) and CIRAD (Centre de coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement), and is implemented in collaboration with: the Asia and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC); the curator of the South Pacific International Coconut Genebank (ICG-SP) hosted by the Cocoa Coconut Institute (CCI) in Papua New Guinea; the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT); Government relevant ministries from Fiji, Papua New Guinea (represented by Kokonas Indastri Korporesen, KIK) and Samoa; and the Pacific Community (SPC).
2. The project "Coconut Industry Development for the Pacific" (CIDP) is a joint initiative of the Pacific Community, the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States. Addition to this website were conducted in the framework of the PRAG07 expertise leaded by CIRAD, on "Coconut Production and Seeds System". For more details about this topic, please visit the new website: 
Samoan coconut varieties
Varieties and palms identified in 2017 in the framework of the Darwin project
List of coconut varieties recorded in Samoa in 2001
Early Samoa, Niu afa and the naming of Niue Island
Old lists of coconut varieties in Samoa by Christophersen (1935and Parham, 1972
About the first world coconut varietal contest organized in Samoa (1984)
Words related to coconut in Samoan language

Coconut research in Samoa
Nuu Research Station, in Samoa
The small coconut collection of Nuu research Station

Coconut planting material
MAF coconut nurseries in Samoa as of 2017
Planting material released by MAF in Samoa in 2017
Ideas for replanting the Olomanu Seed garden

Towards a new international genebank
Site and design proposal for the new Samoan Coconut genebank
The Westec plantation and large previous replanting projects
Landscaping two small Islands of Samoa using the Polymotu concept
Proposal for coconut conservation and seed production in small islands of Samoa

Boosting the coconut value chain
Public lectures and communication
Development of new handicraft using the niu afa coconut

Other useful information
For replanting material and techniques, please visit our website:
Planting material for the Pacific region
Old documents and books to be further studied
Smallest Islands of Samoa
Landscapes of Upolu Island (South part)
Landscape of Upolu Island (North part)
Coconut palms varieties in Apia (in preparation)
Landscape of Savai (2001)
A survey of Apolima Island
Copra making near Olomanu seed garden in 2001
How to prepare leaflet samples for molecular analysis of coconut varieties.

Collecting coconut varieties for conservation
when Olomanu was the Samoan national coconut genebank

This website is under the Creative commons licence CC BY-ND 4.0, meaning you are free to duplicate all the available information as long as its source is appropriately cited 
(R. Bourdeix & al, 2018. Coconut palms of Samoa. https://coconutsamoa.blogspot.com).


Site and design proposal for the new Samoan Coconut genebank


Please visit also

General principles for setting up a new coconut genebank
A "golden rule" for coconut genebanks

General localisation in Upolu

Two boundaries of the future genebank


Planting material released by MAF in Samoa

Fews years ago, in the  2000's, a total of six coconut varieties, including three hybrids and three tall varieties were released to farmers. A small brochure was distributed to farmers, that contains the following data:

Name
Code
Number of nuts per palm per hectare
Coconut meat per nut (g)
Number of nuts per hectare (at 158,08 palms.ha)
Coconut meat per ha per year (kg)
Percentage of oil (on coprah or Dry matter?)
Malayan Red Dwarf x Niu Vai Tall
MRDxNVIT
136
564
21 499
12 125
na
Malayan Red Dwarf x Rennell Island Tall
MRDxRIT
129
517
20 392
10 543
69
Rennell Island Tall (From Solomon)
RIT
72
682
11 382
7 762
65
Malayan Red Dwarf x Samoan Tall
MRDxSMOT
114
383
18 021
6 902
69
Niu Vai Tall
NVIT
32
904
5 059
4 573
70
Samoan Tall
SMOT
38
401
6 007
2 409
69

In 2017, MAF is officially releasing only the Samon Tall variety, but some hybrids and Dwarfs (niu le'a) are also sold in small quantitites by Nuu research station.

  

Words related to coconut in Samoan language

In its Grammar and Dictionary of the Samoan Language dated 1893, Pratt recorded 87 words related to coconut. Some of these words are related to coconut varieties:
  • Utogau means a nut with edible shell and husk, but the name may indicate it was introduced from Tonga Island
  • There are two varieties with large husk and small coconut, niu'afa and niufetepulu
  • savase is the spicata type
  • tao'ave means only a very productive palm, but to be checked becauase it seems that in Tonga Tao'kave is a special variety
  • niutetea is described as palms with whitish leave, it may be Dwarf-types with yellow or orange fruits, that generally have palms of lighter green color.
1 :‘a’a :see lau’a’a
2 :a’aa’a :the many-fibred coconut root
3 :‘afa :cord made of coconut fibre
4 :alava :the fibre of the stem and wood
5 :aleale :the young coconut with the kernel just formed
6 :amo :to separate the fibres from the husk by plucking
7 :aputi :the sheath of the young leaf
8 :‘ina :a coconut husk with long fibres. good for twisting cord
9 :utogau : a nut with edible shell and husk
10:fa’agaga :to ask for permission to pick coconuts
11:fa’ata’a :fibres twisted for making cord
12:fa’atatå :to crack a coconut in the middle so that the juice drains quickly
13:gutu :the soft hole of the nut (see sisi)
14:feti‘ipopo :to hang a pair of nuts on a tree
15:filiga :the edge or border of a coconut mat
16:fui :a cluster of nuts
17:fugafuga :the rubbish when cleaning fibres
18:galulu :the noise when a partially filled nut is shaken
19:la’ita :a palm with large clusters of small nuts
20:lau’a’a :the net-like sheath of the leaf
21:lau‘afa :cleaned coconut fibre
22:lauafega :leaves from very old trees
23:lauo’o :leaves from young trees
24:laulau :a house improvised of coconut leaves - table mats
25:le‘a :a kind of coconut (also of kava)
26:lolo :to prepare coconut kernel in order to obtain the oil
27:mafua :rancid kernel,attractive to birds
28:malaise :a block for beating coconut fibre on; a new name in place of saga
29:macaipu :the top half of a coconut shell
30:mataniu :the eye end of the nut (gutu)
31:matatuna :one part of the split husk
32:mati :stale fruit water
33:matofi :the fibres of a matatuna prepared for making into cord
34:migimigi :dry curling husks
35:moi‘a`a :fibres of the husk (moti’a`a)
36:mo’omo’o :a nut without juice or kernel
37:mole :an oily fluid bctwecn the hard and spongy kernel
38:molï :oil (u’u)
39:mu’a :a young nut with the kernel half formed
40:mulipu : (muliipu?) the point of the shell
41:niua :full of palms
42:niu’afa :large nuts, good for‘afa
43:niufetepulu :large husk and small kernel
44:niuui :a kind of coconut for the lulu’u, sprinkling with coconut water to remove the tapui
45:‘ini‘ini :ripe with no juice (o’o)
46:ipiniu :a coconut shell cup
47:o’a :to husk coconuts (mele’i)
48:oaoa :coconut shells tied together to rattle
49:olapita :a brittle leaf
50:u’u :scented oil
51:ulusü :the dry leaf stalk
52:unu :the strainer of a coconut fibre used in making oil
53:niumagu : old nuts (Sapapali’i)
54:magu : : old nuts (Sapapali’i)
55:niupaoga :tall palms
56:niusami :the nut before it is ripe
57:niutetea :palms with whitish leaves
58:penu :the grated kernel of the nut
59:pei, pepei, galemu :a nut broken in two
60:pogamata :the eye of the nut
61:pola :mats made of leaves for house jalousies
62:polani :mats for wrapping up things
63:popo :ripe nut (copra)
64:popouli :the nut in its best stage of ripeness
65:pulu :the husk of the coconut
66:pulufafine :the innermost layer of fibre
67:pulutane :the outer fibre,good for`afa
68:pulupului :a number of nuts tied together
69:salisali :the shell adhering to the remains of the kernel
70:salu :the broom made of the ribs of the leaves
71:sami :a nut shortly before being ripe (popo),tasting bitter
72:sasave :a kind of nut having no stem to the fruit
73:sisi :the two hard eyes of the nut; see gutu and mataniu
74:soamoemoe :the just unfolded leaf
75:su’i :a fork made from the leaf rib
76:su’i :a young nut having water but no kernel
77:susu’i :to make a hole in a young nut to drink it
78:ta’ale :the shoot of the crown of a palm
79:ta’ei :to break the nut to pieces
80:ta’e :the top of the nut which has been broken out to be able to drink it
81:ta’elafa :a very flat-bottomed nut broken open
82:tao’ave :a very productive palm
83:taume :the dried cover of the flowers (used for torches)
84:talele :to break a nut to pieces for eating, without drinking it
85:taniu :to cut down trees for spears or timber
86:lapa’au :the rough house mat placed underneath the others on top of the pebbles –tapa’auvai if made from four half fronds
87:tuatua :the rind of the kernel

References
Pratt, G. (1893). A Grammar and Dictionary of the Samoan Language, with English and Samoan vocabulary. London Missionary Society.
Krämer, A. (1994). The Samoa Islands: Material Culture (Vol. 2). University of Hawaii Press




The small coconut collection of Nuu research Station

Map of the small coconut collection
held in Nuu Research Station as of November 2017.




01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
Niu Samatau
01
o
o
X
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
X
o
o
Niu Samoa
02
o
o
A
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o

Niu vai
03
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
X
o
o
o
o

Niu Somolon
04
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o

Niu togau
05
o
o
o
o
X
X
o
o
X
o
X
o

Niu afa
06
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
X
o
o
o
o

Hybrid
07
o
X
X
o
o
X
o
o
o
o
o
o

Niu Ati
08
o
X
o
X
o
o
o
o
X
X
o
o

Niu le'a 1
09
A
A
A
o
o
?
?
X
X
o
o
o

Niu le'a 2
10
A
o
o
o
o
o
o
X
o
X
o
X

Niu tea
11
o
o
A
o
o
X
o
o
o
X
X
o


Caption
o
Living true to type palm
A
Abnormal palm
X
Dead palm
?
Dubious palms (offtype?)

Correspondance between local names and international names

Local name
International name
International abbreviation
Niu Samatau
Samoan Tall Samatau
SMOT03
Niu Samoa
Samoan tall
SMOT
Niu vai
Niu Vai Tall
NVIT
Niu Somolon
Rennell Island Tall
RIT
Niu togau
??? May be Tonga Tall or edible husk
TONT (???)
Niu afa
Niu Kafa Tall
NKFT
Hybrid
Malayan Red Dwarf x Rennell Island Tall
MRDxRIT
Niu Ati
Nu Ati Red Dwarf
NATD
Niu le'a 1
Niu leka Samoa small nuts?
NLAD01
Niu le'a 2
Niu leka Samoa big nuts?
NLAD02
Niu tea
Tahitian Red Dwarf
TRD

In Samoa, there was two recorded Niu le’a populations, one with big fruits, the other with small fruits. I will be good to precise which kind on Niu le’a are conserved in Nuu.  Some of the niu le'a seems to be off-type with a growth typical to Tall-type varieties. Expert advised to replace the abnormal, off-type and dead palms.