How Does Coconut Influence the Economy & Culture of Indonesia?

Indonesia and Coconut: From Driving The Economy to Culture

The World Atlas noted that Indonesia ranks number 1 as the largest coconut producing country in the world by producing 17.13 million tons of coconut in 2019. Most of Indonesia’s coconuts are produced in the form of copra and oil. Also followed by processed coconut products, such as coconut shell charcoal, coconut sugar, dry grated coconut, Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), and many others.

Coconuts Boost the Indonesian Economy

In Indonesia, coconut is the most widely cultivated plant and has the third largest planted area after rice and oil palm. We can find that coconut plantations in Indonesia are spread throughout the region, including on the easternmost island of Indonesia, namely Papua.

With a coastline of 1,170 nautical miles with an area of ​​territorial waters reaching 45,510 km, the potential for marine fisheries resources is quite abundant. However, in a fishing village called Dabe, Sarmi Regency, Papua has lost many fishermen due to switching to the coconut industry.

Previously the locals had never done anything with coconut except eat it. However, since the aid team funded by New Zealand they have learned how to produce oil from copra. Until the people of Dabe village and neighboring villages were able to produce enough copra to support two small oil factories in the area.

Next let’s move on to Kapoposang Island, again in the area for decades looking to rely on marine fisheries for a living. And this is only one small island out of hundreds of islands in the Indonesian Makassar Strait. But now Kapoposang Island is known for its VCO production which has penetrated national and international markets.

Related Article: Facts about Coconut from Indonesia and Its Potential

Coconut is Closely Related to Indonesian Culture

Apart from being useful in the economic and industrial fields, coconut is also very embedded in the cultural life of the Indonesian people. In Bali, on the night before the Nyepi ritual, Hindu communities in various regions carry out the fire war tradition.

In this tradition the youths enthusiastically prepare coals of coconut fiber and will beat each other with lit coconut husks to expel all negative energy from the collection of evil spirits.

Meanwhile in Java during Ramadan, coconut is used in the tradition of the fireball game. This coconut ball is made from old coconut husk that has been dried and then shaped into a ball and soaked in kerosene and then burned.

With bare feet, two teams competed against each other for a blazing fireball and tried to score goals like a match as usual. Undoubtedly, coconut has become an integral part of Indonesian people’s lives.

So, those are the facts about Indonesian coconuts and their impact on economics and culture. What kinds of coconut products are produced in Indonesia? Find out in our upcoming article!

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