USES OF COCONUT PALM PRODUCTION: A CASE STUDY OF AGBAZILO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
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Agbazilo Local Government Area which is made up of many villages and towns have their headquarters at Ubiaja. This area is rich in coconut palm (cocos nucifera) this project therefore, reveals some of the economic uses of coconut palm products and how they can be made locally or industrially. In the work, it could be seen how coconut could be used for preparing some useful products. These products include, coconut candy, coconut cake, coconut palm sugar, brooms, mats, nets, brushes, woven bags, upholstery works and some other products that are very useful to mankind and the society. All these products are so useful to individuals and its brings income to the society.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Maintenance of coconut palm
Uses of coconut palm products
Purpose of study
Limitations of the study
Scope of the study
Significance of the study
Statement of the problem
A brief summary of chapter two
Coconut candy, Coconut cake
Coir or fibre utilization in Agbazilo
Minor products of food value
Coconut palm sugar
Sap collection and processing of coconut palm sugar
Coconut shell utilization
Analysis of coconut candy
Processing trials of coconuts palm sugar
Problems/limitations of study
Coconut which have its botanical name as cocosnucifera is used by every country all over the world but this project work is all about the local and industrial ways of using coconut palm products in Bendel state especially Agbazilo local government area. The people of Agbazilo local government area have fertile land for agricultural practice, though they use crude implements mostly, their main occupation is farming and hunting. Due to recent development in skills, the people of agbazilo have improved on the uses of these products; some parts can now be modernized. The coir fibre of interior quality obtained by partial retting in husks and subsequent mechanical decortication are used for stuffing mathresses, crushions and upholstery
In fact, the year 1976 is regarded as a ‘golden ‘year in Agbazilo. The local government council opened a training institute for the blind at Ubiaja. The aim of this was to train the blind (who were formally idle) how to make good use of coconut fibres (modernizing).
For centuries now, there have been controversy among botanist over the origin of coconut. Until this moment, it has not been settled, this due to its mass cultivation and methods of dispersal.
Three different theories have propounded on the origin of coconut palm. The first theory suggested the northern end of ‘andes’ as the probable place of origin from where the dispersal might have been effected by the pre-historic explorers into the pacific. The same theory also rely on the fact that coconut came from America and this made them very popular among neighboring countries.
The second theory is in Favour of assigning its original habitat to the coasts of Central America from where the nuts might have been carried over by the equatorial ocean currents to pacific islands.
The third theory presumes its place of origin to be some where in South Asia or Malaysia or in the pacific from where the coconut might have accidentally reached coasts of America.
The above theories has its own merits and demerits, it is now widely accepted that the coconut palm might have originated, from America but some where in the old world tropics. However, in the absence of clinching evidence, it has not yet been possible to pinpoint the original habitat of the palm in the world tropics.
MAINTENANCE OF COCONUT PALM
It is most necessary to care for coconut palm from the time of planting to the third or fourth year that the palm can be made to bear early and well. Despite that, the seedlings should be protected from stray cattle till they attention sufficient height. This is done by financing individual’s plants or the entire garden. During the first year of planting, care should be taken to see that water as often as possible. During summer, the seedlings should be shaded properly. Shading reduces qualities and the frequency of watering. Termites, Rhinoceros beetle and the leaf eating caterpillar are the common pests found to affect mostly the young palms. The seedling should be inspected frequently and prompt control measures taken if affected by any of the above pests. Prophylactic sprayings with suitable copper fungicides should also be given against short rot and but rot diseases.
USES OF COCONUT PALM PRODUCTS
According to Burcill in 1966, he described coconut palm as one of the natures greatest gift to man. Another great botanist, Mr. Corner in the same year says that coconut palm products displays the whole range of human dependence on palm products. Coconut provides food, drinks, oil, medicine, fibres; timbers thatch mats, fuel and domestic utensils.
In Agbazilo, the manufactured coconut oil called udeagbon. This is mostly done by the women. This oil can be used for cooking, ointment, illumination, lubrication, soap making and cakes. The coir is the most important product that can be obtained by decertification of the husk. It is an industrial hard fibre. Ligin is the main constituent responsible for the stiffness of the coir. The bristile fibre is used in the manufacture of brushes and brooms. For commercial purposes, the yarn is used to make ropes, mats matting, nets and bags. The ability of coir yarn and rope to withstand the prolonged action of sea water makes them specially suitable for use on boat and ships.
The young fruit and matured ones are used for sacrifice to their godless known by them as (olokun). No wonder Mr. Corner describes the uses of legion. It is not surprising that it is called the tree of life, heaven and mankind greatest provider in the tropics. Coconut palm is very much cared for by the Agbazilos. To them, non of the parts is useless. And they cultivate them in a wide range for the benefit of the whole country mostly our Bendel State. More analysis of coconut products mentioned above shall be seen in other chapters.
PURPOSE OF STUDY
This project is to show the importance and the uses of coconut palm products and suggests the ways in which, the locally manufactured ones can be improved on. As a result, the government should set up industries for processing coconut products in Bendel State. I believed that this will help to improve the states economic revenue.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
In writing this project work, some problems were encountered of which they are:
Transport problems: Most of the information were collected from the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR). Transportation is a big problem because, it is sometimes difficult to get a direct road from Oluku to Nifor.
Collection of textbooks: Collecting textbooks for the literature review was also difficult because there is no textbook which is mainly on coconut palm in the College Library. Textbooks were also collected from the Nifor Library etc.
Recommendation: From discussion with the director of Nifor and with some villages like Ebelle, Ewohimi etc I got some information’s for this research work.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The government should create an opportunity for young people that is coming to this field by giving them good instrument and good tools in other for it to bring out the best in the production of palm products. I believe that, if this is done, it will help to improve the states economic revenue.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
During this research work, I noticed palm products are very important to the economy. Without this palm product, it will be very difficult to get palm oil for cooking and brooms of which this is useful in cleaning the environment.
There are many product that can be gotten from palm and without this palms this product cannot be seen or used.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
In writing this project work, some problems were encountered of which with this problem, the production of palm products cannot be carried out. These problems are:
a. Lack of inadequate facilities for working.
b. Lack of good information can lead to a very big problem on the plantation of coconut palm products.
c. Without good foundation, it will be so difficult to get good palms.
d. Without good research, it will be difficult to get good information about the plantation of coconut palms
e. It is good to have a knowledge on the plantation of palm products before going into this field because it can lead to the effect from time to time.