By attending the BE AGRI/AGRO meetings, we learnt that there is 101 items that we can make from coconut trees and the fruits like baled coir fibre, coco-net, bio-logs, coco peat and coco-twines. Its application is enormous especially on erosion control, highway side-cuts and many many more. Sabah has almost abandoned the coconut plantation and bebc is urging epu to re-ignite this god-given merchandise to its former glories.
The epu minister must make a statement to describe how relevant this coconut can be and all those unemployed youngsters in Kudat-Marudu range where coconut plantation is still plenty, to start overhauling their image to be an industrious hard working lass that can extricate the coir from the coconut husk for sale in the city.
We just learnt from BE meetings that these fine coir is as good as earth where they are used for banana seedlings, act as earth for ginger growing and many more untried indoor gardening plants. In Davao, they are priced at about RM6.00 per plastic bag because they are collected for free and sold by the road-side. When we start the banana seedlings from tissue cultures, these coir will be in great demand.
What we need here are two experts; one from Davao and the other from Surabaya. They come as Trainers and we can have training schedules for our youngsters to make money from coconuts as well as to start replanting new trees. The British could not have made a mistake when they prescribed Kudat as most ideals for coconut growing.
Perhaps it is up to the epu to direct the respective Minister to initiate a program to open the eyes of the private entrepreneurs.
Datuk Roselan J. M.