Tapping practices and SAP yields of the NIPA palm (NIPA Fruticans) in Papua New Guinea

Publication Type:Journal
Year of Publication:1985
Authors:A. E. A. Päivöke

Methods of tapping the nipa palm (Nipa fruticans Wurmb.) were developed in the course of a 3-year study conducted in seven villages in the Baimuru district of the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea. The experimental sites were located about 1.5–23 km from the sea. Their plant density varied from 4700 to 2400 palms per ha and the mean height of the plants was nearly 13 m. Five pre-treatment patterns were tested. Once-a-week treatment, maintained for 12 weeks, yielded an average of 155 ml of sap/24 h/palm for one month, whereas 3–5-times-a-week treatment, for 5–12 weeks, yielded an average of 1300 ml of sap. The duration of treatment depended on the state of development of the flower stalk. The pre-treatment pattern chosen as the standard was to bend the stalk 12 times in one direction, to pat with the hands the length of the stalk backwards and forwards 64 times, and to give the base four kicks; this was repeated four times a week. In the course of the 3-year study it was found that the average sugar content of fresh nipa sap is rather high, about 16.4% w/v, as compared with, for example, about 12% w/v of sugar cane. The results of the present study are discussed with reference to producing fuel alcohol from the Papua New Guinea nipa palm.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith