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Various country case studies are presented to examine the economics of cattle under coconuts. Included are studies from Fiji, India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Vanuatu and Western Samoa. It is clear that with present low copra/coconut oil prices coconut monocropping is no longer an economic proposition and intercropping and diversification are required both on large plantations and for smallholders. Introducing cattle into coconut plantations under good management and with improved pastures is likely to: increase copra production from a better recovery of fallen nuts; result in income from beef sales; release labour for other tasks such as replanting coconuts, pasture establishment and stock control; increase gross farm income; reduce dependence on one crop and may bring about a more complete use of available feeds by using various crop by-products and crop residues. In some coconut-livestock production systems the relative net return from cattle may be in excess of 50 percent of the total returns and possibly as high as 75 percent.

8.1 Introduction

Adoption of any system of agricultural production will be ultimately determined by underlying social and economic factors (Fordham, 1983). The incentive for intercropping is essentially economic, since this system not only provides higher gross return per hectare but also plays an important role as an insurance risk against total crop loss (Abalu, 1975; Liyanage et al., 1986; Mathur, 1963; Norman, 1974; and Sefanaia et al., 1982). In the humid and semi-humid tropics intercropping creates more effective and profitable land use systems (Ruthenberg, 1980). The suitability of the coconut for inter and multi-cropping is well established as the palms do not utilize the total soil, water and light resources available (Burgess, 1981; Liyanage, 1983; Liyanage and Martin, 1987; Nair, 1979; Sefanaia et al., 1982; Watson, 1983).

Nair (1979) was able to show that an intercrop of cocoa actually increased coconut yield. Intercropping experiments at the Coconut Research Institute (CRI) in Sri Lanka demonstrated that intercropping with various crops also increased the yield of coconuts (see Table 181). Liyanage et al. (1986) suggest that this is due to the fertilizers and manures given to the intercrops, elimination of weeds, soil working and other management practices. Similar results were obtained by Margate and Magat (1983) in the Philippines (see Table 182) and Pordesimo and Noble (1990), evaluating alternative replanting strategies for small coconut farms using a simulation model, concluded that intercropping greatly increased the profitability of the farm and significantly reduces the period over which net farm income falls below subsistence level.

Table 181. - Yield of coconuts when intercropped with different crops

IntercropsYield of coconuts ha-1 yr-1*
Control (no intercrop)5,172
Annuals in rotation6,825
Black pepper5,466

* Average of results for four years (1978–1981) at CRI.

Table 182. - Average nut and copra production under different cropping patterns, per tree and per nut, 1975–1982 (Margate and Magat, 1983)

Cropping PatternNuts palm-1
Copra palm-1
Copra nut-1
Coconut monoculture64.118.543.9
Coconut + black pepper65.019.447.8
Coconut + banana + papaya/cacao72.121.748.9

Mixed farming generally provides coconut farmers with a higher return per hectare than does monoculture. This higher return, in the form of a larger production of food can be for the farmer's own consumption or to sell which will give him extra cash income. The choice of intercrop on coconut land will be very much influenced by environmental factors such as type of soil and climatic conditions, and will depend on the individual farmer and the availability of the market for the products.

It is now generally accepted that for economic reasons coconut lands should be intercropped (Guzman, 1990; Santhirasegaram, 1975), although heavy establishment costs and long payback periods may favour short duration crops rather than perennials (Ranatunga et al., 1988). In Malaysia, Mahendranathan and Nor (1980) stressed that intercropping is compulsory under coconut replanting schemes, because coconut as a sole crop even with an optimum planting density provides very low incomes when compared to oil palm, rubber or padi. Where there is a choice of intercrop, it is undoubtedly true that in many situations intercrops of cocoa (Anon., 1978b), coffee, banana etc. (Denamany et al., 1979) and multi-storied cropping systems (Bavappa and Jacob, 1981; Nair, 1976, 1979; Nelliat et al., 1974) will produce much higher returns than grazing cattle. In other situations extensive grazing of cattle or smallholder cattle raising systems utilizing crop by-products and local feeds under coconuts may be most appropriate. Thus, for example, in the Philippines retail prices for beef have nearly tripled between 1985 and 1992 (see Figure 205). Stur et al. (1994) suggest that although increases in actual farmgate prices may have been lower, cattle production compares very favourably with other intercropping options. Similarly, Levine and Soedjana (1991) concluded that the gap between domestic supply and demand for meat is increasing in Indonesia, and this has led to considerable price increases. No comparison of the various systems is presented here, neither is any information given on the expected income for catch crops usually raised in the first few years after establishment of coconut trees.

Figure 205

Source: Philippines Agribusiness Factbook and Directory (various years). Centre for R and D. Southeast Asian Science Foundation. (Price for 1985 = 100).

Figure 205. - Retail price index for beef, Manila, 1985–1993 (Stur et al., 1994).

In Philippines Moog et al. (1993) and Deocareza and Diesta (1993) noted that as well as being low, the copra price fluctuates considerably resulting in farmer incomes being both low and unstable. In addition, a period of at least two years is required for the coconuts to recover from the effect of destructive typhoons which often pass through the region. During the recovery period, alternative sources of income are needed to minimize economic dislocation.

8.2 Fluctuations in copra price

One important reason for intercropping is that as the copra price fluctuates monthly and yearly (see Tables 183–184), a farmer requires a reliable secondary source of income.

8.3 Country studies

The profitability of average coconut plantations has been described by a number of authors (e.g. Piggott, 1964). In Malaysia, the smallholder yields have been estimated to range from about 600–1000 kg copra ha-1 year-1 (Denamany et al., 1979). At an estimated minimum price of R$ 425 tonne-1 copra, average gross income derived by these smallholders is between R$ 250–425 ha-1 year. On coconut holdings of only 1.2–2.0 ha these gross incomes are very low, illustrating the need to provide supplementary sources of income from intercrops or off farm employment. On large plantations yields and incomes are likely to be higher ha-1 and to be favourably affected by economies of scale on large holdings. The economics of cattle under coconuts are indicated in a number of studies and reports from different copra producing countries (see below). Additional data relating to smallholder enterprises are presented in Chapter 9.

8.3.1 Fiji

A study reported by Pittaway (1990) provides a picture of the financial returns for a coconut estate on Taveuni where cattle and copra are the main products, reasonable maintenance has been carried out and diversification and pasture improvement are planned/underway but have not yet come on stream (see Table 185).

The farm surplus is available for debt servicing, capital items, and living expenses. It is assumed that the estate owners do not pay any tax.

The surplus of $ 18,540 is insufficient to adequately meet debt servicing commitments, reinvest in the business, and provide a reasonable standard of living for the owner. This highlights the difficult financial position of the copra estates and the reason that those who remain as commercial operations are searching for suitable diversification enterprises and improvements such as establishing better pastures.

The above model shows that wages constitute a very large proportion of total costs. Any increase in these wages without a rise in income will further erode profitability. Attempts to cut costs on these systems only result in fairly quick falls in income, and the size of the surplus falls to where it is inadequate to meet servicing and living requirements.

Returns were calculated to two levels of copra production (see Table 186).

Table 183. - Average domestic copra price at two trading points, Philippines, 1967–19811)

Trading PointYear

1) Prices in pesos. Source Coconut Statistics 1981 Annual (Anon. 1982a).

Table 184. - Variations in copra price at one trading point (Zamboanga, Philippines) for two selected years1)


1) Prices in pesos. Source Coconut Statistics 1981 Annual (Anon., 1982a).

Table 185. - Financial returns on a Taveuni coconut estate (Pittaway, 1990)

Total Area:1,000 ha
Coconut Area:500 ha
Pasture Area:500 ha (Under Coconuts)
Livestock Nos:180 Cows and supporting animals, based on 1 animal/ha.
 Copra600 kg ha-1, i.e. 300 t year-1
 Grading80% I, 20% II
 CattleCalving 55%
  Steers finished at 4 years old, 220 kg (Dressed)
  Cull cows sold at 400 kg liveweight
 2 Tractors (and Trailers)
 1 Utility Vehicle
 Copra18 Staff (Cutters, Drying, etc.)
 Cattle4 Staff
 General1 Foreman
  1 Clerk
  Workshop/Driver (2)
Financial Model
Income  (Fijian dollars)
 500 ha @ 600 kg ha-1 = 300 t  
 240 t @ $ 300 72,000
   60 t @ $ 270 16,200
 Cows and Heifers 33 @ $280 9,240
 Steers 40 @ $330 13,200
  Gross Income$110,640
Farm Working Expenses
 Copra4,500 man-days @ $6 man-day-127,000
 Livestock4 Permanent @ $2,000 yr-18,000
 GeneralForeman, Driver, etc.9,000
 CasualVillage Workers3,000
Stock Purchases 2 bulls @ $400800
Animal Health $10 Cow-11,800
 Copra $40 t-1 12,000
 General 2,000
Weed Control (Labour)3,000
Pasture Maintenance (replanting etc.)1,000
Repairs and Maintenance10,000
Vehicle Expenses (Fuel, R&M)8,000
Total Farm Expenses$92,100
Farm Surplus$18,540

1 Based on Fiji Mill Prices, 1990.

Table 186. - Returns to two levels of coconut production under estate management

Estate ProductionReturns
IRRGross Margin ha-1Man-day-1
700 kg ha-1-4%$65$4.27
400 kg ha-1-2%$52$4.75

The negative IRR shown in Table 186 is caused by the initial establishment costs of the crop and the low copra yields (due to old coconut palms) plus low copra price. The low gross margins and returns per man-day highlight the low profitability of the crop.

Clearly monocropping of coconut is no longer profitable under these circumstances. The running of cattle under the coconuts provides important additional income but further improvements are required to increase the livestock carrying capacity as well as examining other diversification opportunities. It is perhaps significant that in Western Samoa, Opio (1989) indicates that the economic level of coconut production is 1.0 metric tons yr-1. Analysis of yield streams indicate that coconuts over 40 years of age give low economic returns due to declining yields and the yields tend to drop below the figure of 1.0 metric tons yr-1 any time after year 40. Only with intensive intercropping can this uneconomic yield be supported, as intercropping will raise the productivity and returns from the land under the coconut.

8.3.2 India

According to Kunhikrishnan (1972) interplanting coconuts with fodder crops such as Napier grass for milk animals, not only gave two crops instead of one, but the coconut palms also showed a 5 percent increase in yield. At Kayangulam the growing of hybrid Napier, Stylo, Puero and Centro under coconuts for cutting and feeding to milk cows increased coconut yield by 23 percent within three years, largely because of the effects of manuring (Pillai, 1974).

The input requirements and economic analysis of the coconut/cattle mixed farming project at CPCRI reviewed by Nair (1979) indicates the economic viability of the system (see Table 187). This is also described by Nair (1983), Sahasranaman et al. (1983), and more recently Bavappa (1986) suggested that this system could be an ideal model for the self-reliant smallholder because of its high turn-over and resource use efficiency compared to monocropping (see Figure 206). Das (1990) and Nair and Gopalasundaram (1990) also provided up-to-date information on the mixed farming (irrigated) system. Nair and Gopalasundaram (1990) mention a total output of 15,900 coconuts, 218 kg dry pepper, 695 kg tubers, vegetables and banana, 7,500 l of milk and 550 m3 of biogas ha-1 yr-1, a net return from 1 ha of coconut plantation (60–70 years old) of Rs. 29,500 yr-1 and employment provision for 850 man-days ha-1 yr-1. Das (1990) provides an economic analysis of the system (see Table 188) indicating that the gross cost was US$ 4,144 ha-1 yr-1, the gross return was US$ 5,965 ha-1 yr-1 giving a net return of US$ 1,821 ha-1 yr-1 at the 1988–89 factor-product costs. When the return to family labour and management was considered, this system was found to be an ideal model for the self-reliant smallholder because of its high turnover of US$ 3,102 ha-1 yr-1. Although deficiencies were mentioned (e.g. low yielding milk cows - average milk yield cow-1 was 1,455 l yr-1 despite good management) the labour absorption potential of this model was clear (at 850 man-days ha-1 yr-1 - see Table 189) this was a rise of 490 percent over irrigated monocrop coconuts and 608 percent over rainfed monocrop coconuts). It is also evident that coconut based farming systems are capable of distributing the labour inputs more or less uniformly over the year, unlike coconut monoculture. With its simple low-cost technology and farmers' interest in minimizing risk and maximising profit rather than maximizing yields, small farmers would not find it difficult to adopt (Das, 1990).

Table 187. - Input requirements and economic analysis of the coconut/cattle mixed farming project1) at CPCRI (Nair, 1979; FAO, 1983d)

1.Capital investment
  Cost 4 milk cows1,560
  Cost of cattle shed1,300
  Cost of irrigation installations1,560
  Cost of utensils, equipment, etc.78
2.Economic analysis
  Sale of milk2,088
  Sale of coconuts796
  Value of subsidiary crops111
 B.Operating expenses
  Cost of cultivation of fodders159
  Labour charges338
  Cost of cattle feed617
  Cost of cultivation of coconuts172
  Depreciation (cattle and pump sets)221
  Total operating expenses1,603
 C.Receipts less operating expenses1,392
 D.Interest on capital investment450
 E.Net return to farmer942

1) Area under coconuts in the project: 1 ha.

8.3.3 Malaysia

In Malaysia, while crops such as cocoa, coffee and pineapples are cultivated under coconuts to provide major income for small-holders (Abdullah Sani Ramli et al., 1982; Denamany et al., 1979), a number of studies have shown that cattle fattening using existing forages and by-products can provide a reasonable economic return to supplement income from the main crops and utilizes excess labour.

Table 188. - Economics of coconut based mixed farming experiment under irrigation at CPCRI, Kasaragod (after Das, 1990)

Particulars US$ ha-1 year-1
Cost - Labour wages $ 1.75 day-1 1,488
  Fertilizers for the system including fodder grass 150
  Plant protection 34
  Cattle feed, dry fodder and concentrates 979
  Veterinary expenses 35
  Expenditure on rabbits 25
  Contingencies 152
Total variable cost 2,863
Annual Fixed cost including depreciation 1,281
Gross cost 4,144
Returns - Coconut @ $ 0.16 nut-1 and by-products 2,469
  Pepper @ 1.87 kg-1 for 235 kg 439
  Milk @ $ 0.31 lit-1 for 8760 litres 2,716
  Subsidiary crops and rabbits (30 nos.) 341
Gross returns 5,965
Net return 1,821
Imputed value of family labour, management and internal resources 3,102

US$ 1 = Indian Rupees 16.

Table 189. - Assessment of employment potential of coconut based farming systems models of CPCRI, Kasaragod (person days ha-1 year-1). After Das (1990)

Rainfed SystemsJan-MarApr-JuneJuly-SeptOct-DecTotal% change over monocrop
Rainfed systems       
i)Coconut monocrop15155733120--
Irrigated systems       
i)Coconut monocrop2719574114420-
ii)Multistoreyed cropping
(coconut + cocoa + pepper + pineapple)
iii)Mixed farming
(coconut + pepper + Fodder grass + subsidiary crops + Milk Cattle + Rabbits)

Figure 206

Figure 206. - Relative economics of coconut monocrop vs. coconut based systems: 1 ha model.
(After Bavappa, 1986).

The data in Table 190 illustrate the returns from supplementing free grazing and cut-and-carry fed bulls with copra cake. Abdullah Sani Ramli and Basery (1982) also provided details of the trial noting an improvement in feed efficiency when copra cake was used as a supplement. Where no supplement was given yearling bulls grazed on native pastures under coconuts made average daily liveweight gains of 395.4 g which were comparable with the 0.38 kg animal-1 reported by Nitis and Rika (1978) in Bali for Bali cattle grazing pastures under coconuts. Although free grazing as a system of production slightly exceeded cut-and-carry fed animals it was concluded that with the limited areas available for free grazing on smallholder farms, the excellent gains under a cut-and-carry system meant that a system was available for smallholders to fatten cattle on their land. In Table 191 it is clear that increasing the content of coffee by-products from 40 to 60 percent had a negative effect on feed intake. The gross profit was highest with only 20 percent of coffee by-products in the ration.

Yusof and Rejab (1988) noted that the cost of weeding could be reduced by up to 50 percent in coconut stands grazed by ruminants.

However, the rearing of livestock under coconut (intergrazing) is not as popular as intercropping (with cocoa, coffee, banana, pineapple and vegetables) mainly because of the lower economic returns, the higher capital and operational costs and because of social problems associated with livestock keeping.

For reports on the economics of grazing cattle under oil palms, see Chen et al. (1978); Chen and Othman (1983) and Devendra and Pun (1991).

Malaysia provides a specific example of the economic benefits of integrating ruminants with oil palm where an estate allocated a portion to the workers for grazing their animals. For the first two years (1980 and 1981) only cattle were owned and grazed, however, in 1982 and 1983 goats were also introduced. This was done because of their economic importance and capacity to supply both meat and milk in the estate (Devendra and Pun, 1991).

The effect of grazing cattle and goats was an increase of 2.15–5.16 tonnes fresh fruit bunches hectare-1 year-1 over four years (Table 192). When translated into the total number of hectares available for grazing and sale value per tonne of fresh fruit yield, the economic advantage is substantial.

Table 190. - Returns for three head of local Indian Dairy × Australian Milking Zebu bulls managed under coconuts (Abdullah Sani Ramli et al., 1982)

Parameters Treatments+
No. of participants 3 3 3 3
No. of bulls participant-1 3 3 3 3
Initial cost of animals 1015.49 1043.19 1020.60 993.63
Cost of supplementation -   516.00 - 516.00
Sheds -     42.85     57.14    57.14
Water trough     10.00     10.00     10.00    10.00
Salt licks     32.00     32.00     32.00    32.00
Miscellaneous     15.00     15.00     15.00    15.00
Labour input   828.50    931.50 1105.20 1138.50
Total cost 1930.50 2621.05 2269.94 2792.77
Receipts from animal sale 2480.28 3094.13 2314.20 2795.54
Return to family labour 1377.79 1359.59 1149.46 1141.28
Net return   549.78   428.08     44.26      2.77
Net return workday-1       5.98      4.14      0.36      0.02
Family return workday-1     14.97    13.14      9.36      9.03
Net return day-1       1.49      1.16      0.12      0.01
Family return day-1       3.74      3.69      3.12      3.10

+ Where    I = free grazing on native pastures
  II = free grazing + copra cake supplement
 III = cut-and-carry fed ad libitum
IV = cut-and-carry fed ad libitum and supplemented with copra cake

1 workday = 8 hours and daily labour input = 2.0–2.75 hours (for 368 days)
All costs and returns in Malaysian Ringgit.

8.3.4 Papua New Guinea

In CPL plantations, the presence of cattle under coconuts reduces upkeep costs. With coconuts in monoculture it costs about US$ 96.00 (K 84.00) for upkeep costs, while with cattle it costs only US$ 27.00 (K 24.00) ha-1, which is a significant reduction of about 70 percent in upkeep costs. Ovasuru (1988) concludes that “provided management is good and soil conditions are suitable, intergrazing is economically viable”.

Table 191. - Growth performance of local Indian Dairy × Red Dane male calves fed with coffee by-products (Abdullah Sani Ramli et al., 1982)

Initial weight (kg)101.0105.5108.3102.3   4.36
Final weight (kg)259.0a299.0ab194.5bc181.5c13.36
Av. daily gain (kg)    0.49a    0.39ab    0.27b    0.25b  0.05
Feeding period (days)322322322322 
Daily DM intake (kg)    3.9ab    3.8a    3.5a    4.4b  0.05
Feed/kg gain (kg)    7.9a    9.8a  12.9b  17.7c  1.87
Weight gain (M)758.40592.80413.76  38.16 
Cost of feed (M)288.06247.49117.47  50.09 
Gross profit (M)470.34345.31296.29330.07 

Means in the same row with different subscripts are significantly different (P<0.05). Treatments 1, 2 and 3 were fed with 20, 40 and 60 percent coffee by-product in the concentrate ration Treatment 4 was given 100 percent Napier grass.

Table 192. - Effect of mixed cattle and goat grazing on the yield of fresh fruit bunches in oilpalm cultivation in Malaysia (Devendra, 1986, after Devendra and Pun, 1991).

YearYield of fresh fruit bunches (tonnes ha-1)
Annual grazed areaAnnual non-grazed areaDifference
198030.55 (cattle)25.614.94
198117.69 (cattle)15.871.82
198225.12 (cattle and goats)22.972.15
198323.45 (cattle and goats)18.295.16

8.3.5 Philippines

The income of the coconut farmer is among the lowest in the Philippines, with the monthly income of the average coconut farmer being considerably below the poverty line (Ontolan, 1988). The coconut-based farming system (CBFS) has been proposed as one solution to the low productivity and low income, with production alternatives ranging from a single intercrop, a mixture of intercrops, to crop-livestock systems.

Various studies have been conducted in the Philippines comparing the economics of coconuts grown in monoculture with coconut areas and improved pastures grazed by cattle. The overall profitability of coconut and cattle integration has been established in studies by Barker and Nyberg (1968) and Guzman and Allo (1975) (Anon., 1978a).

Based on a 1966 survey of 1230 coconut farms in twelve provinces it was established that grazing, cover cropping and fertilizer use were closely associated with farm size. These practices were more common on the larger farms, from 20 to 50 ha and over than on those of <20 ha (Barker and Nyberg, 1968). To illustrate the potential profit from adding cattle to a coconut operation, they presented an analysis of costs and returns for three case studies:

  1. Coconut-beef cattle operation of 150 ha and approximately 1 AU ha-1 using traditional or typical management practices.

  2. Coconut-beef cattle operation of 150 ha. of which 100 ha. is improved pasture. The assumed carrying capacity ha-1 of improved pasture is approximately 3 AU

  3. Coconut-beef cattle operation of 300 ha of which 200 ha. is improved pasture. The assumed carrying capacity ha-1 of improved pasture is approximately 3 AU

The improved pastures of case study B produced five time more beef than the natural pastures of case study A for a net return of 7,830 to 3,690 for the unimproved farm. As farm and herd size are doubled, there are some economies of scale and net returns in case study C reached 24,720 (see Table 193).

Table 193. - Costs and returns for cattle-coconut case studies, Philippines (Barker and Nyberg, 1968).

 Case Studies
Total Costs12,56024,06046,940
Gross Returns10,32051,290102,580
Net Return7,76027,23055,640
Net return to Capital + Management7,15021,14048,350
% return on Capital + Management13%10.7%13.9%
Interest on Capital at 6%3,46013,31026,660
Net Return to Management3,6907,83024,720

1 All costs in (Philippines pesos).

Moog and Faylon (1991) noted that coconut farmers in the Philippines with an average land holding of 3.3 ha have an estimated net income of only 4,290 pesos yr-1. A trial in Bicol indicated that with livestock integration an additional annual income of 1,800– 4,500 pesos can be obtained from buffalo-raising.

A survey was carried out by Guzman in 1968 on 103 properties ranging in size from 4.5 to 750 ha., with an average size of 107 ha. (Guzman and Allo, 1975). The number of AU property-1 varied from 5 to 559 with an average of 74. Eighty percent of the farms surveyed had no improved pastures and on average 74 percent of labour was allocated to establishing and management of the coconut plantations, 20 percent to stock management and only 6 percent to pasture development and management. The average stocking rate was 1.3 AU ha-1 (range 0.7–2.3); it was low because of the poor quality of feed available, in addition some stock were tethered. Average total income farm-1 was 92,591, with 87.9 percent derived from the sale of copra and the rest from stock (see Table 194). Although total income was increased by about 12 percent through cattle sales, the effect of grazing cattle on copra yields was not assessed.

The results of a report on three farm case studies, showed that on one farm only nine percent of its labour was used in coconut production while the rest was used on the beef cattle production enterprise (Guzman and Allo, 1975). On the other farms, 81 and 74 percent respectively of the labour was used for coconut production. In spite of this, the first farm yielded the best returns ha-1 from copra, suggesting that the available labour on coconut plantations can devote well over half its time to pasture establishment and management and animal husbandry with no detrimental effects on nut production. More attention to pastures and stock could result in greater profits. In his survey Guzman found that pasture improvement was needed to reduce low calving rate (high calf mortality before weaning, suggesting poor nutrition and poor management), while palm fertilization was needed to increase copra production. For example it was reported that a successful cattle-coconut farmer stocked 8 head of cattle ha-1 on improved pasture under coconuts (Catanaoan, 1972). Forage species include Alabang X, Para grass, Guinea grass, Napier grass, sorghum, ipil-ipil and tropical Kudzu supplemented with sugar cane tops, molasses, maize and rice bran.

Table 194. - Average costs and returns ha-1 in Philippine pesos on 103 beef cattle farms under coconuts in Mindanao, 1968 (Guzman and Allo, 1975)

Cash expenditure450.67 
Non-cash expenditure262.96 
Total expenditure
Cattle sales49.37 
Coconut sales750.58 
Other cash receipts0.88 
Non-cash income54.48 
Total income
Net cash return 360.16
Total net return 151.68
Interest earned on capital (%) 27.4  

At the time of the survey 1 US$ = 3.90

A comparison of the estimated costs and returns of coconuts in monoculture and with cattle was recently presented for the Philippines (Anon. 1982d) clearly indicating higher inputs but also increased returns with cattle (see Table 195).

Livestock returns from improving native pastures under coconuts (Deocareza and Diesta, 1991)

  1. Application of N-fertilizer

    In Albay (Bicol Region) 20 ha of coconut where the native forage was dominated by Paspalum conjugatum were fertilized with urea and grazed by cattle (20 head at 1.0 AU ha-1). In the initial year of grazing average daily gain was 0.66 kg head-1. In 1990 the fourth batch of animals (over 138 grazing days) gave average daily gains of 0.46 kg head-1 (on fertilized P. conjugatum) and 0.28 kg head-1 (on unfertilized pasture). It was interesting that over time the percentage of P. conjugatum declined, while other economical grasses and legumes such as Digitaria sp., tropical Kudzu and Calopogonium increased, and the percentage of weeds such as Elephantopus sp., Mimosa pudica increased considerably (see Table 196).

Table 195. - Estimated costs and returns of coconut plantations in monoculture and with cattle under traditional and improved management (P), 4 ha/farm1) (Anon., 1982d)

 Coconut Farm
Cattle-coconut Farm
Cattle-coconut Farm
Cash income
4870 10400 35170 
Copra sales
 4200 5440 13800
Cattle sales
   4120 19440
Other cash receipts
 670 840 1930
Non-cash income
Increase in inventory
  720 2310 
Total income4870 11120 37480 
Cash expenses
2085 4260 17360 
Harvesting and hauling
 560 700 1540
Copra making
 225 290 740
 1200 600 300
Fertilization (coconuts)
Purchase of cattle
   1000 2250
Cattle care and up-keep
   1365 2675
Feed supplements
Veterinary supplies
Insemination cost
   100 600
Pasture fertilization
Repair and maintenance
Miscellaneous cost
 100 205 830
Non-cash expenses
315 1760 7730 
Interest on cap. inv.
   1120 4275
Interest on op. cap.
 315 640 2605
Total expenses2400 6020 25090 
Net cash return2785 6140 17810 
Net return2470 5100 12390 
Net return ha-1620 1275 3100 

1) Average of the first 10 years of operation.

  1. Overseeding of legume

    In Sorsogon (Bicol Region) the potential of Centrosema pubescens for pasture improvement under coconuts and the feasibility of carabao-coconut operations were examined. A 15 ha area was strip-ploughed and overseeded with centro at the rate of 20 kg ha-1 with a basal fertilizer application of complete fertilizer (14-14-14). Grazing treatments were: native pasture at 1.0 AU ha-1; native pasture + Centro at 1.0 AU ha-1 and native pasture + Centro at 2.0 AU ha-1. Results are shown in Table 197.

Table 196. - Botanical composition of pasture, July-October 1990 (Deocareza and Diesta, 1991)

Pasture TypePasture ComponentSampling Date
July (%)October (%)
UnfertilizedPaspalum conjugatum5520   
Paspalum conjugatumDigitaria sp.2728   
FertilizedP. conjugatum6722.8
Paspalum conjugatumDigitaria sp.1316.8

OEL - other economical legumes: dominant species - tropical Kudzu
Weeds - dominant species: Elephantopus sp. and Mimosa pudica.

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