We find many coconut estates in Malaysia. Coconut palms grow well here
especially along the sandy coasts. They are also seen growing in rows and
rows in coconut estates. The commercial value of the coconut palm is still
good though, of late, it faces competition from other crops such as the oil
When young, coconuts are green. These young coconuts produce a delicious
and refreshing drink, very popular on a warm day. As the coconuts ripen and
turn yellow or brown, the estate owner hires workers to pluck the fruits.
The kernel or flesh of the coconut is useful, for milk can be extracted for
use in curry, desserts and cakes. It gives a good taste. Malaysian
housewives are particularly dependent on coconut milk which they use daily
in their cooking.
Besides this, the coconut palm has many other uses which boost the
coconut industry. For example, the leaves, the husk,
the stem and the trunk can be turned into various articles for home use. In
addition, the valuable copra from which
coconut oil is extracted, is also exported. This brings in foreign exchange.
Sometimes, a special monkey, called the 'Berok' monkey, is trained by its
owner to pluck coconuts in an estate. This creature is skilful and
intelligent, for it is able to select and pluck special nuts which are
required by its owner and not just any nut it fancies. It is interesting to
watch a 'Berok' monkey at work.
Malaysia earns a good income from the coconut industry. Hence coconut
palms are important to our economy.