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Exploring the Potential and Challenges in the Coconut Industry: A Comprehensive Review

Sustainable Biodiversity-Based Business

The coconut industry has become an integral part of life for communities along the Tanjung Api-api route, particularly in the Muara Telang District. With plantation sizes ranging from 2-5 hectares and a consistent planting distance of 5 x 6 meters, coconuts are the main source of income for local farmers. However, like any business, the coconut industry also faces several challenges that need to be addressed to ensure sustainability and growth.

Coconut production, starting at the age of 6-7 years, signifies the long-term investment required before the first harvest can be enjoyed. However, once it reaches productive age, coconuts can be harvested every 2.5-3 months, providing a stable source of income for farmers. Nevertheless, fluctuating coconut prices affect the actual income enjoyed by farmers. Although the current purchase price is Rp.1100,00 per nut, after deducting production costs of Rp.500,00 per nut, the net income for farmers is only Rp.600,00 per nut. Furthermore, if the purchase price drops to Rp.700,00 per nut, the net income for farmers becomes very minimal, only Rp.200,00 per nut.

The coconut market also involves local and large-scale intermediaries, each with different roles and transportation systems. Local collectors transport coconuts by boat through rivers and small canals, while large-scale collectors often have their own fleet and buy coconuts directly from farmers. Additionally, differences in transportation systems also occur between buyers for export and local consumption. However, challenges in distribution are also seen in efforts to persuade residents to sell their land to oil palm plantation companies, which could threaten the sustainability of the coconut industry.

Nevertheless, amidst these challenges, there are innovative efforts by some industry players. One example is the implementation of an integrated business scheme by a large collector, which not only sells whole coconuts but also processes them into value-added products such as white copra. This approach not only increases the value of the product but also provides greater sustainability for the coconut industry.

Furthermore, the potential use of waste from the coconut production process is also an opportunity that needs to be further explored. Coconut husks can be used as raw materials for the fiber industry, while coconut shells can be processed into charcoal, with significant economic value.

In facing challenges and optimizing potential, cooperation between local governments, industry players, and local communities is crucial. Support in terms of assistance, training, and market access can help improve the competitiveness of the coconut industry, as well as maintain the sustainability of the local economy. Thus, the coconut industry can continue to be a solid economic pillar for the surrounding communities, while preserving the environment and expanding business opportunities in the future.


Meiardhy Mujianto

“Trees always pray for safety for humans whose hands are light to care for them.”


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