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The coconut is dubbed "The Tree of Life" because of the different products that may be derived from its various parts. All typical farms have fruit bearing coconut trees. A fully integrated mobile processing unit (diesel engine powered), that can be hooked like a trailer, able to extract virgin coconut oil from coconut meat, coconut coir and coir dust from the husks, and charcoal from the shell, will benefit all small and medium sized coconut farmers. These 3 products are heavily traded in the global market. At present, farmers are limited to copra production and roughly earn only 150 euroes per hectare of planted coconuts per year. This mobile processing unit will allow neighbouring farmers to become a contiguous coconut farm able to produce a significant volume of high value products currently exported by the region.
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The mobile processing unit appeals to the fact that the coconut farmer can produce 3 coconut products without the need to invest in costly equipment and infrastructure. No more high overhead costs to worry about during non-harvest months. The mobile processing unit costs 3,500 euros. The service will involve product sharing schemes to avoid unnecessary cash outlays for the farmer. The farmer may pay for the rental fee and sell his products on his own, or he may further avail of the services of the group. He may purchase packaging material from the operator, while the marketing arm of the group, for a profit, will consolidate all processed outputs for the domestic and global market.
The Philippines has 12 million hectares of farmlands, where 3.1 million (25%) is planted to 324 million coconut trees. 3.5 million coconut farmers manage these farms and roughly 25 million Filipinos depend on the coconut industry, whose main industrial product is coconut oil from copra. In recent years, the capacity utilization of...