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  • Writer's pictureDoddy Hidayat

The Great Benefits Of Coconut That Can't Be Denied

It is said that several decades ago, when most of us were not born yet, our parents were still in their teens, our grandparents were still energetic in their productive age, the food for breakfast was not wheat bread but bread with an wick. Compulsory side dishes such as fried tofu and tempe are still delicious because they are made from dele, local soybeans, not imported soybeans, and what is confirmed is that it makes it more savory and healthy because it is fried using klentik instead of CPO.

Healthy measures are relative, but we agree that people in the past rarely had obesity, high cholesterol and heart problems.

Movement back to consuming Coconut Oil

People in the past less known about wheat, imported soybeans and CPO aka palm oil, yes, cassava, dele and klentik used to be the prima donna of the Indonesian kitchen. Javanese people definitely know what klentik is, namely coconut oil.

The millennium has come. Suddenly, what has been lost from the past has now reappeared, so many people long for it and are not unmitigated to be dubbed Super Food because it has various benefits and high nutritional content. Mocaf (gluten free flour from cassava), edamame (young soybeans) and coconut oil are part of a global healthy lifestyle.

Nowadays, the community, which was pioneered by intellectuals and environmentalists, is starting to make awareness movements to return to local food wisdom. Especially related to the issue of scarcity of palm cooking oil in the market, the call to return to consuming coconut oil is getting louder and louder. Even Susi Pudjiastuti - a former maritime minister who was popular in the early era of Pak Jokowi's cabinet, also called for a return to coconut oil consumption. The appeal in the form of a tweet on Twitter had gone viral some time ago.

Coconut Oil is a Superfood

Coconut oil has been recognized worldwide for its multi-benefits and rich in nutrients. In addition to consumption, coconut oil has been used for cosmetic ingredients, body care and health therapy. Because of its great benefits, coconut oil has been named as one of the few agricultural products that fall into the Superfood category.

Despite having a number of added values, the growth of the industry and domestic market for coconut oil is far behind that of palm oil. People often think of coconut oil as an expensive item. Palm oil has become a product addict that we use to eat, bathe, brush our teeth, pharmacies and fuel vehicles. Coconut oil is only understood for use in restaurants and star hotels or consumers who have excess money.

But is coconut oil really that expensive? If it is expensive, it is because compared to similar products such as palm oil, of course the price of coconut oil is higher than palm oil. Why is it higher? In a simple calculation 1 liter of coconut oil requires 5-6 coconuts. If the current market price of coconut is 3000 rupiah per grain, for raw materials alone it has reached a cost of Rp. 15,000 – Rp. 18,000, while the price of ready-to-sell palm cooking oil is the most expensive on the market, around Rp. 17,000 – Rp. 20,000. But there is an interesting fact behind the price comparison between the two, let's see.

Coconut, King of benefits and potential added value

In a Sanskrit language, coconut is mentioned with the phrase 'kalpawreksa' which means a tree that can provide all the necessities of life (tree of life). This is very true because the nature of coconut has multifunctional properties so that all parts of the plant are not wasted. Not only that, in every part that can be consumed, such as meat and coconut water, it contains high efficacy and nutrients.

Coconut oil itself has been recognized by the health world as having a myriad of benefits, including containing elements that can increase levels of good cholesterol (HDL), improve body metabolism, relieve inflammation of the teeth and gums, moisturize and soothe the skin, so it has long been used for skin care and sunscreens. one more thing that is undeniable, any master chef would say for dishes that need to be processed at high temperatures, nothing is more delicious than fried in coconut oil!

From the table above, the government and coconut stakeholders in Indonesia should be able to make strategic designs to make coconut oil an alternative to cooking oil for the community. Every 1 tonne of coconut oil production will produce 2 tons of coconut water by-products, half a ton of copra pulp, 1.5 tons of coconut shells and 3 tons of coconut husk. Compared with palm oil, each production of 1 tonne of oil only produces 1.4 tons of empty palm oil bunches (TKKS) which is equivalent to 151 liters of bioethanol.

Imagine if these by-products were processed in an integrated manner, how much potential added value could be generated! Another advantage is that coconut plantations are different from oil palm. 70% of coconuts are people's crops, managed by the people not in the form of plantations of thousands to millions of hectares owned by a handful of local and international companies. The area of ​​coconut plantations reaches 30% of the total national plantation land, compared to oil palm which is only 6% of the total national plantation area.

A multiplier effect will occur, one of the positive impacts for domestic consumers is that coconut oil can become an affordable commodity, because the variable costs are no longer dependent on the cost of making coconut oil alone, but there are large economic benefits from processing by-products that can subsidize the selling price of coconut oil on the market.

Coconut waiting for alignments

Currently, domestic palm oil issuers receive a subsidy of IDR 5.7 trillion from the government through the statutory provisions on policies to increase bio-diesel production. From that amount of funds, farmers only get 200 billion rupiah in the form of community oil palm sustainable ecosystem research, the rest is enjoyed by oil palm issuers consisting of 11 large domestic CPO producers.

If the government has the same political will between coconut and palm oil, the coconut industry will boom, farmers will prosper and the community will have the advantage of consuming super food at affordable prices. The coconut industry in the country is waiting for alignments.

I like to quote Simon Sinek's witty line: Value is not determined by those who set the price. Value is determined by those who choose to pay it.

It is our duty as part of the agricultural stakeholders in the country to provide The Best Value Impact, providing high added value products that are affordable by the community or maybe more: Improving the welfare of the people so that Indonesians have high purchasing power and have the right to determine what products they have to pay for .

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