1. Matag Coconut


  • Matag is a hybrid coconut through crossing of Tagnanan tall as male parent and Malayan Yellow/Red dwarf as female parent.
  • This hybrid is high yielding and early in maturity with round large fruit.
  • The produce is versatile as it can be used as fresh drinking coconut at tender flesh forming stage or at maturity, the latter as raw material for santan, desiccated coconut and other industrial uses.
  • The shell and husk are good raw materials for charcoal (activated carbon) and for cocopeat and fibre respectively.
  • Seedlings selected should be true-to-type.
  • The recommended stage for field planting is at 4-6 months old.
  • Advanced planting materials are used as in-filling of vacant points but should be nursed in large polubags to avoid severe transplanting shock.


2. Spacing
  • For permanent integration of cocnut with other suitable entreprises, the hedge planting design is recommended.
  • Coconut is planted as twin rows, at 7 m x 7 m triangular, alternate with the alley at a width of 18 m.
  • The plant stand for coconut is 110 palms/ha.
  • The alley is separated from the coconut by field drains at 1.5 m from the palm row.


3. Land Preparation and Field Planting
  • Trees should be felled, destumped and stacked in accordance with the zero burning guideline.
  • Drains should be constructed before field planting.
  • Field planting should be carried out at the beginning of the rainy season.



Planting Hole
  • Planting hole should be dug at the dimension of 60 cm x 60 cm and 45 cm deep.
5. Maintenance
  • A good standard of maintenance is required to ensure vigorous growth and a high yield.
  • After establishing the garden, maintenance aspects such as drainage, weeding and manuring require particular attention.


6. Drainage
  • For satisfactory performance of coconut, it is advisable to clean and deepen the drains regularly in order to maintain the water table to a depth of 75-100 cm.


7. Weeding
  • Ring weeding to a radius of 2 m around palm at least 6 times a year should be carried out. Weeding can be done manually or by the use of suitable weedicides.
  • It is a bad practice to burn the dry grass as very often the coconut trees are damaged.


8. Fertiliser application
  The recommended fertilizer is as tabulated below:


Year Appln
Fertilizer Rate
Planting hole   0 R Phosphate 1.5 165 3.3 62.7
      GML 1.8 198 3.96 55.44
  1st 1 Compound 25 0.3 ) )  
First 2nd 5 Compound 25 0.3 ) 121 ) 2.42 130.68
  3rd 10 Compound 25 0.3 ) )  
Second 1st 15 Mixture 44 1.0 110 2.2 118.8
      Borate 48 0.1 11 0.22 55
      GML 1.0 110 2.2 30.8
      Kieserite 1.0 110 2.2 44
  2nd 19 Mixture 44 1.0 ) 220 ) 4.4 237.6
  3rd 23 Mixture 44 1.0 ) )  
Third 1st 27 Mixture 44 10. ) 220 ) 4.4 237.6
  2nd 31 Mixture 44 1.0 ) )  
      Kieserite 1.0 110 2.2 44
      Borate 48 0.1 11 0.22 55
  3rd 35 Mixture 44 1.0110 2.2 118.8  
Total 1,190.42


Rock Phosphate : RM19/50 kg, GML : RM14/50 kg

Cost/50 kg
Compound 25
Mixture 44

It is advisable to weed the garden before applying the fertilisers. For a young palm apply the fertiliser around it to a radius corresponding to the horizontal stretch of its leaves. For a mature palm, apply the fertiliser evenly at 2 m radius around the base of palm.


9. Pest and Disease
Pest/Disease Damage   Control
Rhinoceros Beetle The adult beetle bores into the crown to feen on the tender tissue at the growing point thus causing fan-shaped fronds when the spears unfold.  
  • Keep field clean by removing and burning decaying wooe to eliminate all suitable larval breeding places
  • Regular field inspection to destroy the grubs and the breeding places
  • Drench the crown with lindane or diazinon
  • Trunk injection with monocrotophos or methamidophos at early stage of damage
Coconut Skipper
The larvae of skipper butterflies feed on the leaf blades leaving only the midrib. In serious cases, the palms look totally barren except for the youngest fronds
These outbreaks usually come and go. Flocks of birds usually predate on them most of the time. Natural parasites are also found. Spray trichlorfon or any pyrethroid if necessary.
The caterpillars scrape the epidermis whilst leaving the palm leaves skeletonised.
Chemical control is often not necessary.
Nettle Caterpillar
Feed on young leaflets of the fronds leaving only the midrib.
Spray trichlorfon if necessary.
Rats, Squirrel
On fruits mainly.
  • Poison with zinc phosphide at 1:20 ratio bait
  • Shoot or trap if possible
Tapering Disease
Yellowing of the tips of leaflets and a dwindling of their size, coupled with a corresponding diminution in the diameter of the trunk. Finally the crown might fail to produce new leaves and the palm dies.
Associated with malnutrition, lack of adequate drainage and neglected condition.
Grey Blight Leaf Spot
Yellow to greyish white spots with dark-brown margin, surrounded by yellow halo on the leaves. This is a minor leaf disease.
Maintain good growth of tha palm to reduce the disease incidence.

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Source : 9th MP: Schcme Mechanics for Coconut Industry Development Program, Department of Agriculture Sarawak