Hugh Harries, botanist and plant breeder with the Coconut Industry Board, examines healthy coconuts in an experimental grove at Clifton Hill. - - Research on Lethal Yellowing Disease of Coconuts. Every year Jamaica loses from 60,000 to 90,000 coconut palms to a mysterious disease known as "lethal yellowing". The damage wrought by this killer disease of coconut palms is by no means limited to the tropical Americas. Lethal yellowing is found as far afield as West Africa. The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and the Coconut Industry Board in Jamaica are combating lethal yellowing by fostering and planting "Malayan Dwarf" and other palm varieties that are far more resistant to the disease than the native "Jamaica Talls". At the same time, scientists of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), working under the United Nations Development Programme ? Technical Assistance (UNDP-TA), are in Jamaica trying to discover what causes the disease and how it is transmitted from one area to another. A solution to the mystery could save the world's $1 billion coconut industry tens of millions of dollars a year.