The team of ICC and NAM-CSSTC ,Jakarta have visited Lampung Province, one of the Indonesia’s biggest coconut producing province from 5-9 April 2021. The ICC team was led by Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw, Executive Director; accompanied by Ms. Mridula, Assistant Director; Mr. Alit Pirmansah, Marketing & Statistics Officer; Mr. Otniel Sintoro, Information & Publication Officer, and Ms. Sri Hartati, Administrative Assistant. While the NAM-CSSTC team were H.E. Ambassador, Mr. Diar Nurbintoro; Mr. Edi Supriyatno, Administrative, and Financial Assistant Director; Mr. Suroso, Documentation Staff, and Mr. Syahroni, General Affairs Staff.
The main purpose of the field visit is to comprehend the current situation of coconut industry and to update and absorb inputs from the coconut stakeholders, by which the NAM-CSSTC and ICC can identify their needs and accordingly relevant collaborative capacity building programs for member countries would be framed in the future. ICC and NAM-CSSTC is serving as a mediator to the government in sharing the inputs for amendment in the existing regulations regarding unauthorised transshiftment of fresh coconut to other countries causing shortage of raw materials for the coconut industry in the country.
The first industry visited was PT. Mahligai Indococo Fiber, a cocopeat and coco fiber producer located in Tanjung Sari, South Lampung regency. Mr. Efli Ramli, President Director of PT Mahligai Indococo Fiber (PT MIF) who is also chairman of the Indonesian Coconut Fiber Industry Association stated that Indonesia has the largest coconut plantation in the world but only meets 3% of the world's coconut fiber needs. Most coconut husks are simply wasted without being processed, even burned. In its 7 locations, PT MIF has succeeded in processing coco peat and coco fiber and exported its product to several countries. Coconut fiber is the raw material of the industrial mattress, geotextile, rope, carpet, doormat, and stable mat, while coco peat was used for plantation media and horse bedding. PT MIF exports 30 containers of coco fiber and 35 tons of coco peat monthly.
PT Mahligai Indococo Fiber was established in 2007, but the factory has been operated since 1995 which previously produced rattan furniture. It has 7 production clusters in Lampung, 8 ha each, with a capacity of 2 tons/day each, which are processed from an average of 15,000 coconuts. Each cluster employs 20 people. The seven clusters are located in the villages of Tanjungsari, Jatibaru, Krui, Wonosobo, Negeri Katon, Padang Cermin, and Pasar Minggu. According to Mr. Efli, the market is not a problem. The availability of raw materials is one of the main problem besides the weather.
The second unit visited was integrated coconut value-added food product manufacturer of PT Sari Segar Husada, Tarakan, North Lampung. It is established in 1991, the main products they produces are desiccated coconut, coco milk/cream, coco water, nata de coco, crude coconut oil and coco expeller, under the brand of Rose Brand. The factory site location is strategic, only 8 km from Panjang International Port, and 37 km from Raden Intan Airport. With 1,500 employees, the factory occupies an area of 8 ha, the products are exported to Asia (8%), Australia (6%), Europe (49%), the USA (16%), Africa (3%), and domestics (18%). Mr. Hendrajaya, Assistant General Manager explained the production process and activities of the unit.
There was an in-depth discussion on different issues related to processing; raw material avavilability; marketing in which Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw and H.E. Ambassador Diar Nurbintoro also participated and assured that they will take the problem identified about non availability of sufficient raw materials to the concerned Government authority. Dr. Jelfina underlined the importance of coconut replanting and implementation of a polyculture system to address the raw material requirement.
The team also visited the Food, Crops, Horticulture, and Estate Crops Service, South Lampung Regency. Met with Mr. Bibit Purwanto, S.P., M.M, Head of Office. They are maintaining a tissue culture laboratory in which conducting research on tissue culture of clove, pepper, durian, banana, klengkeng, orchid, and kopyor coconut since 2017. Mr. Adi Saftiadi, Head of Tissue Culture Laboratory, and Mr. Epiphan Asrido IP, S.P., M.M, Section Head of the Plantation Production explained the tissue culture process of Kopyor Coconut. It has been in the acclimatization process before the seeds being moved to the garden. Kopyor Coconut has more than 10 times the economic value than regular coconut.
The last unit visited was Nata de Coco production unit, TH Brothers Coco, owned by Mr. Derry Kusuma at Rawa Selapan village, Candipuro district. Mr. Derry was earlier working with a food factory where he saw the wastage of coconut water and got motivated and started this unit.
Mr. Derry is a young entrepreneur doing value-added products from coconut water. He established the unit in 2011 with a capital outlay of IDR 150,000,000 (US$ 10,344). The unit can produce 40 tons of Nata de coco per week. Mr. Derry explained the processing of Nata de coco by demonstrating the different stages of the processing. He used to collect the coconut water from the copra manufacturers locally. He is having processing unit in 13 locations, each has a production capacity of 200 tons/month where the processing till the making of the sheet is being carried out. The final processing is being done here in the main factory. Around 20 labors are engaged in the factory for attending different work which includes both ladies and gents.
The visit was very learning and productive to know more about the processing of value added products of coconuts at different levels and the problems faced by the units. During the visit to each of the unit , Dr. Jelfina, Executive Director ICC presented the ICC plaque of appreciation and publications to the processors.