31/03/13

Bad Effects of Producing Sugar from coconut, Is It True?


Is it true that producing sugar from coconut can be harmful for the coconut tree itself?
Is it true that producing sugar from coconut can be resulted in decreasing coconut production, followed by reduction of coconut oil production, coconut flour production and dried coconut production?
Is it true that producing sugar from coconut will bring misery to the farmers because coconut sugar has lower economic value?

As sugar from coconut began to gain its popularity, some rumors are spread in internet. I won't ask you to believe or not believe to those rumors. I just want to suggest you to find more facts about producing sugar from coconut and make your own judgment.

Before discussing about those rumors, let's take a look on how to produce sugar from coconut;
- Farmers climb the coconut trees, which sometimes can reach 20-30 meters height.
- On top of the coconut tree, farmers will see coconut flowers. It's like the arrangements of tiny flowers along the flower stalk. These flowers will later grow to be coconut (if fertilization occurs)
- Then the farmers will bundle these flower’s stalks into some bunches, and make some wounds on them.
- Under these wounds, farmers will place bamboo containers to collect the dropped sap (or neera).
- The collected neera has to be evaporated as soon as possible to avoid fermentation.

Rumor no. 1. Producing sugar from coconut can reduce the production of coconut.
The wounded coconut flowers will not grow to be coconut. It's true. But the fact is; a coconut flower has many coconut flower stalks. Farmers are free to decide to let these flowers grow or get the neera or both. Yes, combining fertilization and collecting coconut sap in one coconut tree is not a mission impossible.
So, collecting coconut sap can not be the reason of the reduction of coconut production.

Rumor no. 2. Producing sugar from coconut is will make farmers suffer financial lost
Fact; coconut farmer is a kind of farmer who has a very low income. If they're in luck, they can sell a coconut to middlemen for about USD 0.1. These middlemen will then sell coconuts to coconut industry in a very high price. This situation will continuously placed coconut farmers in poverty.
But, if these farmers also collect the coconut sap and producing sugar from coconut by themselves, they can raise the economical value of the coconut sap. In this way, the income of farmers will increase for about 50% (www.bigthreefarms.com)

Rumor No. 3. Producing sugar from coconut will cause economic imbalance because farmers prefer to collect coconut sap rather than coconut producers.
In this case, we can learn from Philippine. The fact is; in this country, coconut is one of the main export commodities. So the government will not make any radical changes from coconut producer into coconut sap collectors.
Only less than 10% of all coconut plantations on Philippines are dedicated to coconut sap production.

Now, I hope you can make your own conclusion for the above question; Bad effects of producing sugar from coconut, is it true?

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