Green Coconut can generate more profit

My inclusion of green coconut as an alternative option in the master plan for the farm was recently boosted. BusinessWorld reported on April 26, 2019 that a company in the Philippines inked a business deal to supply $36.5 million worth of green coconuts to China.

This report further restrengthened author's impression on young nuts which already peaked upon discovery of that exceptionally prolific coconut tree in the farm. To understand more, this ought to be read as a continuance of a separate page. A link is provided at the bottom.

Long before the report, I already started propagating and planting these medium-sized nuts at the farm. I rationalized that medium-sized nuts would offer more options instead of relying heavily on copra as a product for marketing.

Size of nuts will not matter in copra buying. But for green coconuts, those with medium sizes should be more acceptable to consumers in terms of pricing by piece. Having observed that in general bunches contain more nuts if such nuts are smaller, sale per bunch would be higher.

Two months ago I posted the following hypothetical problem on social media:

If you have a hectare of such coconut variety with 100 trees (hills) and you sell all young green coconuts at wholesale price of PhP10.00 per nut, how much will your gross sale be in 1 month? In 3 months? In 1 year? Assume that each tree produces 1 bunch with 15 nuts per month.

Compare with whole dehusked nuts and with copra.

The variety referred to above is My Coconut Selection 1 which produced an average of 25 nuts per bunch.

To compare, I prompted myself to collect sample data on the characteristics of the nuts from “My Coconut Selection 1.” Subsequently these data were applied in comparing green coconut with whole dehusked nuts and copra.

The data on fruit characteristics and the results of calculation are shown below.

Fruit Description: Data from 5 Sample Intact Nuts

On March 16-23, 2019 I sampled 5 mature nuts from a single bunch, processed these personally, and collected data on fruit characteristics in situ. The following data were obtained:

          Total weight of 5 intact nuts (fruits) = 6.3 kg; Mean nut weight = 1.26 kg

          Total weight of 5 dehusked nuts = 5.1 kg; Mean dehusked nut weight = 1.02 kg     

          Total weight of dry copra from 5 nuts (after sundrying) = 1.28 kg; Mean copra yield per nut = 0.26 kg (This indicates that 3.9 mature nuts of My Coconut Selection 1 yielded 1 kg of dry copra).

Result of Calculation

The above data were used in calculating the comparative sales for green coconut, whole dehusked nuts, and copra. The results are summarized in the table that immediately follows. The table of comparison should be self explanatory.

Table CT-1. Comparative yields and estimated income from 3 products that may be derived from a hectare with 100 hills of My Coconut Selection 1.

Whole Dehusked, Mature Nuts Copra Young Green Coconut
Calculated Wt/No. of marketable product/ha/year 18,360 kg of whole dehusked nuts 4,680 kg of dry copra 18,000 pcs of young green coconuts
Buying price PhP5.00/kg PhP17.00/kg PhP10.00 per nut
Calculated gross sale/ha/year PhP91,800.00 PhP79,560.00 PhP180,000.00
Relative Comparison with Copra Sale 115.4% 100% 226.2%

Author Cautions

Please consider this article as a mere eye opener, a preliminary study, in comparing the potential uses of coconut trees and in devising future marketing strategies. Neither should it be construed that the gross sales presented can be relied upon and be the basis of outright application.

Author though, having done the sampling himself and being privy to that one exceptional coconut tree, remains convinced of the prospect of green coconut.

For those who rely on scientifically-generated basis, it is suggested that a research be conducted taking into consideration the various costs. For example, even though young green coconut outsells the other products by a large margin, it should be apparent that the cost of harvesting and transport will be high.

There is no data as well as to the volume of harvest that the local market can absorb. This paper could be valuable for those who desperately search for research topics.

As to the number of nuts that can be harvested and the copra yield per hectare in one year, let it be stressed further that these are calculated values. No consideration is made as to possible diminution in fruit yield due to unfavorable weather, or harvesting for coconut milk or green coconut, or losses attributable to some other activity.

The basis of calculation is the sampling conducted by author on a mere single bunch harvested from his coconut tree. The calculation is further based on the assumption that on the average each of the hypothetical 100 coconut trees in one hectare produces 1 bunch with 15 nuts (although the computed average from 2 bunches is 25).

Further, the computed copra yield of 4,680 kg/ha in one year is much too high. Nonetheless, even if the number of bunches and the number of nuts per bunch produced are reduced, the calculated sales will just have to be adjusted proportionately. For example, if the assumption is reduced by one-third (5 nuts per bunch instead of 15), the computed copra yield will likewise be reduced by one-third, that is, 1,561.3 kg instead of 4,680 kg.

Whatsoever, it will still show that green coconut outsells the other products.

Note: The following formula has been in use in calculating the estimated age of any coconut tree:

Age of Coconut Tree, in Year = Number of leaf scars ÷ 13

Leaf scar refers to that mark left on the trunk or stem of coconut or any plant after a leaf drops. Consequently, the divisor 13 indicates that on average a coconut that grows under favorable conditions produces 13 leaves or fronds in one year. Each compound leaf should mean one bunch of nuts.

Resolving Another Hypothetical Issue on Green Coconut and Be Amused

If any one should want to supply 1,000 green coconuts to the local market or to my friend Gary on daily basis, how many fruit-bearing coconut trees and hectarage must he have? Consider the abovegiven assumptions as constant, that is, 1 ha = 100 trees, bunch production = 1 per month, and number of nuts per bunch = 15. Assume also that 1 month = 30 days.

Let’s do the math.

1,000 green coconuts/day x 30 days/mo = 30,000 nuts/month

30,000 nuts/mo ÷ 15 nuts/tree/month = 2,000 trees

2,000 trees ÷ 100 trees/ha = 20 hectares

This means that in order to be able to supply 1,000 green coconuts regularly on daily basis, you must have 2,000 mature coconut trees in prime health, each capable of producing 1 bunch containing at least 15 nuts every month. At population density of 100 trees per hectare, this means also that you must have at least 20 hectares of coconut farm. Or else 2 or more farms can be combined together to produce the supply.

In addition, the 2,000 trees will have to be separated into batches of 66 to 67 trees that will supply 1,000 green coconuts daily. Each batch will have to be taught to disperse fruit maturity by day with the last batch to be harvested on the 30th day. Of course, it is possible to do the harvesting not on a daily basis but maybe every 3 or 4 days. This is just a speculation, however, not having been able to acquire access to information as to shelf life of green coconuts. If such information is not available at all, this should be another important priority for research.

Further, 1 hectare will be able to produce only 1,500 green coconuts in one month.

Finally, the minimum 20 hectares coconut farm requirement is good only for a 1 month supply. Imagine supplying year round and increasing further that daily volume.

- Ben G. Bareja, May 12, 2019

Starting a Farm I Factors in Farm Site Selection I Factors in Crop SelectionMy Coconut Tree I

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