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Research And Development For Coconut Product Diversification In The Rural Sector Of Indonesia

Coconut (Cocos nucifera  L .) is an important agricultural commodity which has a broad spectrum of industrial uses. In­donesia is the world’s largest producer of coconut and nearly 97% of the nuts are used for direct consumption and for copra making for cooking oil industry. The rest are used for other in­ dustrial uses. The industrial uses of coconut can be developed to get value added from  processed products. The development of coconut processing industry will be the approach to get advantages in in­ creasing income of farmers, creating job opportunities, increasing export earnings, supporting regional development, and making a balance of development between urban and rural sectors. There are plenty of coconut products which can be developed by small and medium-scale industries. Researches on coconut product diversification are mainly conducted by R&D institutes and universities. Researches deve­ loped are on the utilization of major parts of coconut, i.e., coco­ nut meat, coconut water, coconut palm sap, coconut shell and coconut husk.

The R&D should be more concentrated on the applied re­ search and problem solving which have direct advantages to the coconut processing industry. The technology developed should be the appropriate ones which can be used easily by small-scale coconut processors. Exchange on information and research collaboration between coconut researchers in Indonesia and other coconut producing countries should be maintained. Establishing a coconut process­ ing R&D networks should be also taken into consideration.

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