Coco Coir ... a by-product from coconut husk is now a big money-maker
THERE is money and job opportunity in coconut husk waste.
Farmers can make money by using its by-product – coco peat and coco coir.
The government is encouraging coconut farmers to earn more by bringing their husks to plants that will process them into byproducts.
The Philippines produces 12 billion coconut husks a year. Some 3.6 billion husks are burned to cook copra; but some 8.4 billion husks are thrown away as farm wastes.
Coconut-producing Aurora province recently installed three processing plants to convert husks.
The coco fiber is made into twine which is woven into coco net used in erosion control.
Southern Luzon, Bicol, Visayas, and Mindanao have 18 coco coir producers registered with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).
Coco coir or fiber extracted from the husk is a raw material for making high-value export products such as bed mattresses, mats, car seats, ropes and twines, grow poles for plant liners, wattles for orchids, pots, and geotextiles.
Baled coconut coir/fiber, ch3 grade ready for export.
Coco fiber is used by the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission for erosion control in Estero de Paco in Manila, in slope rehabilitation in a Tagaytay subdivision, on the San Roque Dam embankment in San Manuel, Pangasinan, at Cherry Hills now Peace Village in Antipolo City, at bio-engineered slopes in the Subic-Clark expressway, and on Ambassador Point at Halsema Road in the Cordilleras.
The Philippines exports the biodegradable and environment-friendly coir baled fiber to China, Taiwan, United States, Korea, Japan, and Europe.
Another byproduct is coco peat or dust which is also useful in agriculture.
A kilo of coco fiber dust can hold eight kilo of water; Laguna golf club uses it to save on water.
Coco peat is used for soil conditioning, mulching, manure composting, seeding and mushroom generation, hydrophonics, and animal bedding.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) uses coco fiber nets in its soil erosion control projects.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is eyeing the use of coco peat as potting material and coconut fiber pots for seedlings.
The processing of coconut husks into coco coir and coco peat is an income-earner for farmers and their families in the coconut-producing regions of the country.
All they need are government and private sector’s support and assistance. - Tempo