Plantation Crops : The Philippine Coconut


Here we introduce copra making and abaca stripping. Of course we will include the maturity determination. One more thing, I just want you to remember the difference between fruit crops and plantation crops. There are fruit crops that needs to be consumed right after harvest. Plantation crops on the other hand needs to be processed first to become ready for further processing or consumption. They can be hoarded or stocked and then wait for the market price to increase. Okay While fruit crops comes in bulk when harvested needs to be disposed right away to avoid losses. First is the coconut as seen on the board. We will tackle the maturity determination and the maturity indices on coconut. There’s a lot! But we will simplify it. Because shaking and knocking method requires you to climb the tree. Which is not advisable. It is because of being laborious and unsafe. We should just wait for the opening of the coconut flower inflorescence. So coconut inflorescence (flowers). As you can see these are the florets and the bottom, the male and female parts. This stage of fan opening we will count in months so after 7 months we see the fruit . Young nut is said to have an undeveloped meat so there is not much gap between the meat and coconut juice so you won’t hear a sound when you shake it. Then upon reaching 9 months when you try to shake it you will hear a slushing sound. This indicates that the coconut can now be used for making coconut milk “gata” or for copra. This one is a best example, if it is brown like this it means it is 100% matured coconut. So we have what is called color break from green to brown. Before harvesting to determine mature coconuts. In a branch if there are 1 to 3 brown ones then the whole bunch can be harvested. We often use a lawis (Scythe) or sold in the market as halabas. In Mr. Catipon’s area they call this kawit. They call it halabas (scythe) because it is also commonly use for cutting grasses. But if used for coconut harvesting it is attached to a long pole with varying length depending on the height of the tree.

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