Mozambican researchers work on reducing mortality rate of cashew saplings

1 February 2013

Researchers from the Mozambican Agrarian Institute (IIAM) are looking for ways to reduce the mortality of cashew saplings after being transplanted from the nursery into the ground, said Américo Uaciquete, coordinator of the cashew research programme.

According to daily newspaper Notícias the researcher said the studies showed that the mortality of the plants would be reduced by improving their packing while being transported as well as by cutting their terminal bud (the top of the stem) three days before transporting the saplings from the nursery to their final location.

According to the researcher this is one of the ways of saving the plant as through this procedure it becomes more robust and able to withstand the “stress” it is put under by wind during transport.

Transporting saplings without implementing these measures sets off a process that is dangerous for the plant – evaporation through transpiration – that makes it wilt.

Based on research results, Uaciquete said that the probability of the saplings taking after cutting the terminal bud was over 80 percent, whilst only 30 percent of uncut saplings can be expected to germinate. He noted that this was why there was a delay in replacing the stock of cashew trees in Mozambique.

The study is part of a strategic plan to increase cashew production volumes to around 200,000 tons of nuts by 2020. (macauhub)