Kasaragod: Which came first - coconut or coconut tree? If somebody asked this question to Kalanad native Muhammed Kunji, he will give a quick answer – coconut tree! He will also show them a coconut tree on his compound which produces coconut saplings instead of coconuts.
Muhammed Kunji planted this coconut tree six years ago. The saplings produced from the coconuts which yielded in his plantation was used for planting. Other coconut trees planted along with this started giving coconuts as usual. But only one of the coconut trees produced saplings instead of coconuts.
The 10-feet-tall coconut tree has about 15 saplings on its top at present. Some of the saplings are in abnormal shape while some others are growing healthy. People keep coming to see the strange coconut tree and saplings.
“This phenomenon started happening two years ago. We didn’t notice the saplings first. Later, they started growing fast. Not even a single coconut could be seen yet. We will bring this matter to the attention of the agriculture department and Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI),” Muhammed Kunji said.
Meanwhile, Dr Shamsudheen, principal scientist at CPCRI in Kasaragod, said that the saplings on coconut tree could be the result of genetic mutation. It is yet to be confirmed if the saplings emerge directly or from the tender coconuts only after examining the tree. A research team will inspect the place and study about this, he added.