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Strategies For Enhancing Productivity And Income Of Coconut Farmers In Thailand

Over the past 5 years, coconut planted area has fallen by about 44,000 ha mostly replaced by oil palm and other economic crops. A number of coconut products have been able to penetrate into international markets such as Europe, USA and Asian countries. Among the major products are coconut oil, palm sugar, coconut fiber; young tender coconut, desiccated coconut, copra and activated carbon which in total contributed US$12.74 million to the Thailand export earnings in 2003. The paper highlights the serious pest problem of coconut leaf beetle, Brontispa longissima Gestro, which was first reported m the Southern provinces in February 2004. The sudden and rapid spread of the pest has caused raw material shortage and higher price for coconut. The paper outlines a number of measures being undertaken to control the pest. In 2006, the government plans to initiate a series of replanting and rehabilitation pilot schemes in Southern Thailand where intercropping will be a significant component.

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