Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of coconut commodities with an area of 3.7 million hectares of coconut plantations. Most of these coconut plantations are owned by people who process their coconut yields into copra by drying using the traditional method, namely by direct burning to produce dark brown smoked copra.
According to Dicky P Sumakul, President Director of PT Indo Nyiur Lestari, the process of making this copra does not pay attention to the hygienic aspect so that the copra is dirty, contaminated with aflatoxin (smoke, yellow-green fungus – aspergillus), PAH (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon), water content, high FFA. and other impurities during the manufacturing and drying process. Smoked copra is processed by Oil Miller companies into CNO or CCO which is then reprocessed into derivative products such as RBD Oil and others.
With the incessant propaganda of the American Heart Health Association (AHA) over the last few years, publicizing that coconut oil is toxic. This negative propaganda has resulted in a drastic decline in the price of CNO over the past year and has an impact on the price of smoked copra at the farm level.
In early March 2019, the price of smoked copra was around Rp. 3,800-4,000/Kg. The low selling price of smoked copra has triggered demonstrations by coconut farmers in several areas such as North Maluku, North Sulawesi and several other copra-producing areas, including a demonstration by students from North Maluku copra farmers in Jakarta a few months ago.
Earlier this month, Dicky had a conversation with a coconut farmer who only has 1 ha of coconut plantations containing approximately 110 coconut trees near PT INL’s factory, in North Minahasa Regency, North Sulawesi. The farmer complained that with the current low selling price, the costs incurred to make smoked copra are as follows: 110 trees X 25 grains or as many as 2,750 grains can be produced approximately 650 kg of smoked copra (with a moisture content of .15%-20%), sold to local collectors at a price of RP4000/Kg thereby gross income Rp.2,600,000.
The farmer handed over the production of copra to copra workers with a profit sharing system of 50%/50%. From the results of Rp. 2,600,000 minus the cost of coconut collectors and transportation to local collectors/traders by 10% X Rp. 2,600,000 = Rp. 260,000, so that the sale proceeds Rp. 2,600,000-Rp. 260,000 = Rp. 2,340. 000 divided by 2 with copra workers = Rp.1.170.000 not including deductions by local collectors/traders.
The cost of maintaining/cleaning/squeezing the coconut plantation 2 days every 3 months is 2XRp.150.000 or Rp.300,000. So the farmer’s net income is Rp.1.170.000-300,000 = Rp.870.000 per 3 months or only Rp.290.000/month. With this condition of income, it is difficult for the farmer to meet the needs of his family, let alone send their children to school.
As a result, there are coconut farmers who do not harvest their coconuts, let alone increase their planting. In addition, some coconut farmers cut down their coconut trees and sell them for up to IDR 500,000/stem without replanting. This is a threat of reduced coconut production in the future.
PT Indo Nyiur Lestari (PT.INL) which was established in 2011 produces white copra by buying whole fresh coconuts from coconut farmers. Farmers only pay for climbing and collecting coconuts in their plantations, then the coconuts are transported by truck to the drying factory, thereby increasing the farmer’s net income to 90%.
In the future, PT.INL’s program will foster coconut farmer groups in coconut/copra producing villages to process their coconut yields into more valuable products such as white copra, coconut shells are processed into charcoal and the water is processed into raw materials for Nata de coco and its coir. processed into coco fiber and peat.
The processed white copra from coconut farmer groups/cooperatives will be purchased directly by PT. INL at a price of approximately 80% higher than the local smoked copra price (farmer level) or 40% higher than the price of oil miller in Bitung and Amurang. This white copra is then processed into derivative products such as Pure Coconut Oil (PCO), briquettes and other derivatives at an integrated coconut product processing plant in Subang, West Java.
White Copra is processed from fresh old coconut with a drying/indirect heating system and assisted by sunlight. White copra processing is very concerned about cleanliness and strict procedures so that white copra is dry (5%), hygienic, clean free from contamination by aflatoxin, PAH and FFA as well as other impurities, pearl white in color and fragrant with coconut. White copra is the raw material for processing Pure Coconut Oil, which is processed without a mixture of chemicals for healthy edible/cooking oils, herbal soaps and other derivative products.
Since 2018 PT.INL has joined The Green Coco Island (TGCI) under the auspices and leadership of Prof. Vishnu Gardjito. Currently building a PCO (Pure Coconut Oil) processing plant with a capacity of 150-200Mt white copra/month. In the program for the industrialization of coconut products and their derivatives in an integrated manner from upstream to downstream, upstream (micro) groups will be formed to produce coconut farmer groups/cooperatives to make white copra, charcoal, raw nata de coco where the results will be purchased by PT. INL (Meso level).
In the future, PT.INL’s program will continue to form units of coconut farmer groups/cooperatives in coconut producing center areas to process white copra. The obstacle faced by farmer groups/cooperatives in changing from making smoked copra and switching to processing white copra is the investment in making a drying furnace with a capacity of 5000-10,000/coconut per process.
It is hoped that the Department of Industry, Cooperatives and SMEs, Agriculture/Plantation, Development of underdeveloped villages can facilitate the construction of waiting for drying mentioned above. PT.INL will provide training and technical stove-making to coconut farmer groups/cooperatives and make a cooperation agreement to sell white copra, charcoal and fiber/peat to PT.INL
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