The why’s of sustainability series IV: Why coconut integration for Leyte-Samar?


As you may have known, the Philippines is one of the world’s biggest coconut producers.  As a region, meanwhile, Leyte-Samar is the Philippine’s second largest coconut producer– that is, after Northern Mindanao.

At an average output for the Philippines of 12 million tons of copra per year, this translates to 48 billion nuts.  This is also equivalent to  2.8 billion kilos of oil.  On the other hand, 48 billion nuts yield 16 billion liters of coconut water, which is mostly thrown away as waste.

At a production share of 30 percent, Leyte-Samar produces 14 billion nuts per year, equivalent to 0.84 billion kilos of oil and 4.7 billion liters of coconut water.  Now, so much has been said about coconut integration, but this was more of a lip service on the part of our policy makers.

We therefore propose that like-minded individuals or groups take up coconut integration to the hilt, even only on a pilot basis in the Leyte-Samar region.  The flow of the integration goes thus:

Coconut

Coco husk ——Coco shell——-Coco water——Coco meat

Value-added products

Coconut integration involves a continuous process, wherein the various parts or components of the coconut is processed into various value-added products under one roof.

One system involves, thus:

The coconut is grated and mixed with coconut water.  A yogurt starter is added and the mixture is left to ferment for 4 hours under 110 Degrees F temperature.  Then sugar is added at the rate of 12 percent by weight.  A natural yeast starter is then added.  The mash is then left to ferment for 15 days, after which the wine-oil liquor is separated by centrifuge or by outright pressing of all solids.  The resulting oil-wine mixture is then further processed into either full-fledged wine or vinegar.  The coconut oil stays on top and can be further separated by gravity or by cooling the wine must so that the oil solidifies, which makes it easy now to decant the wine or vinegar.  Instantaneously, therefore, the following products emerge:  coco wine, coco vinegar, virgin coco oil, sapal (which can be used as animal feed or fertilizer or turned into coco flour).  The coco shell will be turned into charcoal, charcoal briquettes, and ritual charcoal.  The chopped coconut husk will be composted with sapal, chicken manure and bat guano for a minimum of six months, after which  it will be sterilized, packaged and sold as organic fertilizer.

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6 thoughts on “The why’s of sustainability series IV: Why coconut integration for Leyte-Samar?

  1. I like coconut very much. Thank you, Manay, for great attention to my favorite nut. I”ve learnt a lot of useful things about it.
    The only problem for me is to open it in the kitchen;) How do you open it at home?

    • Thanks, Princess! You and your prince must visit Leyte-Samar one day and we will treat you like royalty and you can have all the coconut that you want. Have you tasted the young coconut? Ummm, yummy, yummy! As to the mature coconut you just use a large iron rod or machete to break it open!

    • Thanks, Admin. The bulk of the coconut wastes is the husk. To accelerate its breakdown for industrial composting is to incorporate Saprophytic fungi into the pile. Composting time is therefore halved. That should be the first phase. The second is to mix composted/aged chicken manure and bat guano plus waste limestone powder (from marble establishments/factories) to come up with standardized N-P-K.

      Organic fertilization is the key for the Philippines to wean itself from importing food. The resource from the coconut is too glaring to ignore.

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