ICC wishes all the readers a prosperous and blessed new year 2021. Through a new year spirit, we continue implementing the community strategy formulated based on the future outlook. Since coconut-based products' demands are increasing, more innovative products and technologies that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable are urgently needed to sustain the lives of farmers, industries and those engaged in the value chain. The bright side of the Pandemic COVID-19 is that we are forced to catch up with the technology. Digital transformation has sped up significantly. ICC always strives to accelerate the exchange of technologies and ideas with the coconut community and tries to scale up the good practices for the coconut sector's sustainable development. The coconut sector needs to adapt to new technologies. Smart Agriculture is a science and technologydriven agriculture. ICC, in its 3rd online training (November 2020), on “Good Agricultural Practices, Replanting Program and Integrated Pest Management to Sustain Coconut Development” introduced the use of drones and satellites that can provide spatially and temporally accurate data in the field critical to developing pests and diseases management strategies and other uses such as replanting old palm program. An innovative dipstick technology developed as a quick and straightforward tool for detecting coconut Lethal Yellowing Disease (LYD) in the field and even remote locations was also introduced in the training. The technology could extract DNA and RNA from living organisms in as little as 30 seconds without specialized equipment or personnel. To meet the growing demand for coconut products, timely replanting of senile palms and new coconut planting with good quality planting materials is vital. Rapid multiplication of coconut varieties through tissue culture technology, such as embryo culture, haploid culture, somatic embryogenesis, and cryopreservation might provide greater hopes of producing significant number of desired quality of palms in a relatively short period of time. Optimizing and scalling up current technologies would be very valuable to speed up replanting needs and satisfy the growing demand. To achieve soil management for smart coconut agriculture, during a webinar in collaboration with Sam Ratulangi University, the university introduced “SMART” technology which stands for:
Specific - Should follow climate and land/soil suitability criteria protocol.
Measurable - Manage to pay attention to details and specific coconut requirements.
Achievable - Acquires all necessities for coconut rejuvenation in an organic way of life.
Relevant - Revolves and involves all stakeholders in five pillars to consolidate, connect, integrate, and modernize the coconut system.
Time-bound - Timely target oriented on the circular economy and added benefits.
Smart technology might overcome the problems smartly with the relevant support for easy adoption and implementation by the coconut farming community and industries.
DR. JELFINA C. ALOUW