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Thursday, April 29, 2010


Coconut (Cocos nucifera) also called Kelapa or Nyior in Malaysia was a crop under Family Palmae and believed to be originated from Pacific Region. Coconut was grown in more than 90 nation in the world and planted 12.48 million hectare where about 10.8 million hectare (86.2%) around Asia-Pacific region include Malaysia. Indonesia is the largest coconut producer in the world (3.9 million ha) followed by Philippines (3.2 million ha) and India (1.9 million ha) respectively. World coconut production estimated about 11.44 million tones as copra or equivalent to 57 billion nuts. In Malaysia coconut was grown as fourth importance due to farm size after oil palm, rubber and paddy or about 110,000 hectare in 2009. Malaysia import coconut and coconut based product amounted RM 520 million in 2009 compare to about RM 560 million of export quantity in the similar year. Major states growing coconut was Perak (15,180 ha), Johore (21,250 ha), Selangor (10,320 ha) , Sarawak (22,290 ha) and Sabah (19,150 ha).

Coconut was a multi-usage commodity from the roots, stems , nuts, leaves and other components. Coconut Milk is is main target for food product and processed to many other food and nutritional food product. Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) was the latest innovation enriched with other nutritional and medical value product for health consumption. Non Food product from coconut varies from House structure, Roofing Attap, Sweeper, Bridges, Planks, Plywood, Car Cushion, Charcoal, firewood and many others.

Coconut was an erected type of tree as single trunk with maximum height reach up to 60 meter. The root system mostly hair root with no tap root. There is about 1,500 - 8,000 hair root each tree. Pollination process are natural by wind, bees, ants and other insects except for breeding purpose by human being. The fruit matured in 12-14 months after fertilization completed. Composition of matured nuts consists of 35% husks, 12 % nut shell, 28% white flesh and 25% water.

Coconut able to grow in many range of soil type from mineral soil, acidic soil, bris soil, peat soil and best on flat condition. In Malaysia about 12 variety of coconut was grown by smallholder or estates. The traditional variety was Malaysian Tall (MT). Other variety was Malaysian Red Dwarf (MRD), Malaysian Yellow Dwarf (MYD), Malaysian Green Dwarf (MGD), MAWA, MATAG, West African Tall, Tagnanan, Rennel, Aromatic/ pandan, MARREN and MAMA. MATAG Hybrid variety was the most recomended variety due to its potential yield and early maturity period. MATAG variety are able to produce 140 nuts/ tree/year with planting density was 178 tree/ha or about 25,000 nuts/ year/ha. Average numbers count MATAG nuts about 10-22 / bunch.

Seedling selection is the critical stage in coconut growing activity. Ensure the certified seed or seedling sources are recommended by Department of Agriculture or certified private estates. New planting area cleared from any other trees because coconut required 100% sunlight. Planting distance differ depend on coconut variety and planting system. As my experience in Coconut Rehabilitation Program in Muar for 4 years seems that for MATAG (8.1mx8.1m - 178 tree/ha), MAWA (8.1mx8.1m), Dwarf Variety (.5mx6.5m 272 tree/ha) and pandan (65 m x 6.5 m). To improve fertility use 3-5 mt GML. Planting hole 0.45m x 0.45mx0.45m prepared with 200 gm Phosphate. Most new planting program interopped with banana, pineapple, tapioca , vegetables or other food crops.

Manuring program for coconut varies from different soil type and the age. Early stage requirement was NPK 15:15:15 about 1 kg/tree/year than increase to 1.5 kg/ tree/ yr the following year and after 5 years about 5.5 kg/tree/year with 12:12:17:2 (For fruiting). Manuring program application 3 times per year and apply around the canopy of the tree. Liming on acidic soil done accordingly especially on coastal area.

Coconut pests was Rhinoceros Beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) that attack whole tree and controlled by cultural method and chemical (moth ball or carbofuran). Kumbang Jalur Merah (Rhynchophorus schach) was a secondary pest and controlled with monocrotophos or methamidiphos (5-10 ml/tree). Artona Moths (Artona catoxantha) attack coconut leafs that cause a "burnt symptom' especially during dry period. Heavy rain able to remove the moths. Ulat Beluncas (Setora nitens) eats coconuts leafs and use monocrotophos to control. Haidari Moths (Hidari irava) larvae also attack coconut leaves. Plesipa Beetle (Plesisipa reichei) with yellowish in colour also attack the leaves and spray with chemical. Coconut diseases was Leaf Spot (Curvularia maculans) attack young leafs and use Capstan to control. Other pests was Squirrel that attack the nuts and during early stage there will see Wild Boar, cattle, goats, sheep's may eat the newly planted seedlings.

Harvesting of coconut depends on the consumer needs either young coconut for drinking or matured old coconuts. Young coconut collected using special method or rope so the nut wont fall direct to the ground and damage. Most old variety matured after 15 years with stable nuts production. Malaysian Tall able to produce 6,000-8,000 nuts annually (124 tree), Malaysian Dwarf (27,000-30,000 nut/year), MATAG/MAWA (20,000-25,000 nuts/year) and Pandan Variety (27,000 nuts /year). The nuts production lower during dry spell.

Cost of production for MATAG variety estimated about RM 4,344/ ha for initial development. Economic analysis shown that if the nut sold at RM 0.60/nuts, therefore the gross farm income would be RM 6,566/year or RM 131,122 for 20 years. NPV for 1 hectare coconut was RM 33,068 and IRR about 27.91% and value of BC ratio calculated at 1.74. Growing coconut is a profitable venture if properly plan and patient.


M Anem

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