The rains have arrived and the peach palm have really responded.
After a severe dry season, the rains have arrived and NFMV’s peach palm up the Sigatoka Valley have responded very positively.
The mature palms suffered greatly from Cyclone Evan in December last year and their regrowth from existing suckers was held back by the dry season, but they are now ready for more trial harvesting to supply ‘heart of palm’ to commercial outlets.
In January this year NFMV volunteers planted out nearly 2,200 young palms. These were tended by our resident caretaker, Rudra Nand and his family. Without their hard work and watering during the dry season, we would have lost more than the 3.7% mortality which has occurred.
With the rain over the past three weeks, the young palms have shown a great response – so too have the weeds, and so there is no shortage of work for Rudra Nand. By the end of this rainy season, the palms should have grown enough to shade out all the weeds.
Meanwhile in the peach palm orchard, after 4 years, the first flowers have appeared on 4 of the palms. We do not expect fruit to set this year, but next year we hope to start having fruit available for distribution to enable the phasing out of all destructive harvesting of ‘seko’ or the heart of palm of the Fiji Sago Palm