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Revival of coconut production
Mahbob Abdullah | 16 Jun 2017 00:30

The interest in coconut has come back in the last few years, and I have had calls in my plantation consultancy asking if I could find coconut areas for sale. The prices for coconut have gone up, with more uses being discovered for the oil. No longer is it used just for cooking and frying as I remember in my young days, when I had to run to the village shop to buy half a bottle of oil, with the owner pumping it by hand from a four-gallon tin.

Now coconut oil is used in new products such as oleochemicals, including cosmetics. At the same time the supply is low, with trees getting older, and storms reducing some areas in the Philippines, which is the biggest producer. But more of the Philippines’ production is turned to sale of young coconuts for drinking. The water is said to contain many types of minerals and electrolytes and is good for health.

In Malaysia, much of the success in promoting young coconuts is due to the effort of the Ministry of Agriculture with strong promotion about 30 years ago under Tan Sri Sanusi Junid and his team. Now coconut water is also canned and shipped overseas.