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Coconut Product Diversification And Economic Empowerment Of Women In Thailand

This paper outlines the importance of coconut in the economy of Thailand and the daily life of its people. It is a major source of employment, income and food. Due to low income generated from traditional products such as mature coconut, copra and coconut oil, product diversification for high value products is an approach that could increase farmer’s income. Coconut products can be divided into two parts; edible and inedible. The main edible products are coconut chips, coconut sugar, nata de coco, young coconut, coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut nectar, roasted young coconut, honey roasted coconut, coconut toffy, coconut baking custard, and dehydrated sweet coconut. The inedible coconut products include coconut shell handicrafts, coconut fiber, coconut mid-rib broom and basket, etc. The coconut high value products that have good potential towards empowerment of Thai women and poverty alleviation are coconut shell handicrafts, coconut sugar, dehydrated sweet coconut and honey roasted coconut. The paper highlights a number of women empowerment communities that are successful such as Khog Wuaw coconut shell handicrafts community, Bang Krog coconut sugar community, Ruam Chai women household group and Nong Kaao Nuey women house hold Group. All these communities are proven to be good models for other coconut community based development.

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