The Peach palms planted this time last year are growing well on the Sigatoka Valley farmland, under the care of Rudra Nand.
It has been exactly a year since more than 850 Peach palms (Bactris gasipaes) were planted out over a small farm plot in the Lokia area along the Sigatoka River.
The farm land, owned by MareqetiViti Director, Dick Watling, is taken care of by Mr. Rudra Nand and his hardworking family, who live nearby.
Last year in December, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti (NFMV) staff spent a day and an afternoon, transplanted the potted palm seedlings onto the Sigatoka farmland.
Also taking part in this first generation seedling trial were members of the Birdlife Secretariat and Fiji Programme, Steve Cranwell and Mere Tabudravu.
Over the year, under the hand of Mr. Nand and his helpers, the palms have grown well beyond 2 metres tall.
Of the 100 palms planted in the seed orchard, 99 have survived.
875 palms are growing well in the pilot commercial plot, only 5 have died. We expect to start trial harvesting of the palm heart from the palm plot about this time next year.