Shri Saji Mathew, a Farmer from Kadukumackal (H), Kallahode PO, Calicut has successfully identified a superior clone of nutmeg after 10-15 years of toil from his farm through analytical observations of 100 seedling progenies raised over years. Average weight of seed and mace of seedling population compared and found in one tree, seeds were of more than 10gms and mace more than 3g compared to 8g seed and 2.5 g mace in other on dry weight basis. With the quality superiority and yield of above 2000 fruits at the age of 8 years all non descript low yielding tree converted by top working uniform variety plantation with high yield and quality. Top working technique preferred by budding at 4’ height on 25-35 year old non-descript trees by using only orthropic. Period from October-November gives maximum success.
Presently, 100 budded nutmeg trees in 5 age groups varying between 1-12 years. 1-2 male branches retained at bottom in most budded trees for better pollination and fruit set in garden. Grafting procedure has been standardized for propagating the elite clone christened as Nova nutmeg. Superior clone with 10g and 3g mace are preferred in market. Compared to the local price of Rs 180/- and Rs.600-750/- of seed and mace, respectively, a price of Rs 260/- and Rs 1120/per kg was fetched. Shri Mathew sold more than 1500 grafts in the last 6-7 years in addition to about 2500 bud wood in 5 districts in Kerala covering more than 100 farmers. Besides Nutmeg, Shri Mathew grows Coconut, Arecanut, Cassava, Vegetables, Ginger, Banana, Cashew etc. in his 0.8 ha farm.
(Source: IIHR, Bangalore)