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BANGKOK 23 April 2019 03:29

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Camilo Diaz

Thai coconuts Export Ban

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I remember some news about the Thai coconuts exports being banned in many country because of high pesticides and quimics content, I see pick ups selling them cheaper everyday around and i wonder if better to avoid them? Does anybody has any concrete knowledge about it?

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Not sure about a ban on Thai coconut exports, but there probably are NO exports.

Thailand has been hit by an insect problem that is destroying its coconut plants.

Thailand is now actually having to import coconuts, so there won't be much in the way of export.

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I see plenty of coconuts in my village, no one is even bothering to take them off the trees. Have several trees in my yard and full of coconuts, no one bothers to get them off the trees, i guess at 5 bath a coconut its not worth the effort.  Dont know of any bug problem or use of pesticides. Maybe in the bigger plantations in the south.

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Sr Diaz, I was puzzled by the term "quimics", until I saw the Spanish surname, and realized that you may be using the Spanish pheonetic for what Thai people call "chemi" , pui chemi is chemical fertilizer. 

 

I am not up on the current status of the Thai coconut industry, exports or regional pest infestations and chemical pesticide use. But I do know that coconut palms, wherever they grow, have a number of pest and disease issues possible. Which specific pest or pests is prevalent varies with the geographical area. Pest control methods and materials are many, one of which is stem injection of a systemic insecticide, which may or may not end up in the edible part of the nut. 

 

The coconut palm pest infestations that I have encountered in Thailand are primarily coconut rhinoceros beetle, often associated with red palm weevil infestation at the same time.  These pests commonly go to ornamental palms also. And then in some regions there is coconut hispine (or hispid) beetle.  Other countries are battling massive coconut scale insect pest infestations, caterpillars, and fungal disease issues.  I'm not sure what all is here in Thailand at this time. 

 

Chemical fertilizers would not likely be a direct issue for food toxicity. Non-systemic contact and barrier pesticides would normally not enter the plant tissues and edibles, the hazard with these is primarily for the applicator and for damage to beneficials, natural pest predators. Pyrethroids, like cypermethrin, is the barrier spray of choice for some growers, and is less toxic for the applicator and environment than some older generation insecticides that I have seen recommended in Thailand, like  chlorpyrifos, an OP.

 

There are biological and cultural controls available for most beetle pests, for conscientious growers and communities.

 

Systemic insecticides, usually organo-phosphates or newer generation neonicotinoids, if not closely regulated, are often used without due consideration of possible food contamination. There has been conflicting  information and scientific research on this subject.  But if pesticide residues are being found in the edible parts, then restrictions on imports/exports would certainly be warranted. 

 

Whether or not you should eat local coconuts from the market or roadside sales?  I do.  I really doubt that most local growers are using systemics insecticides, due to cost. 

 

Here's an example from the Philippines of one particular pest issue, and a controversial injectable systemic insecticide being used. 

https://www.scidev.net/asia-pacific/environment/news/use-of-chemical-versus-coconut-pest-stirs-hornet-s-nest.html

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1 hour ago, uffe123 said:

I see plenty of coconuts in my village, no one is even bothering to take them off the trees. Have several trees in my yard and full of coconuts, no one bothers to get them off the trees, i guess at 5 bath a coconut its not worth the effort.  Dont know of any bug problem or use of pesticides. Maybe in the bigger plantations in the south.

Same here...

Why import coconuts...send people collect them in Isaan!

Right now, my trees carries hundreds of them that no one wants to get for me, as I am a bit too old for such acrobatics...

 

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23 minutes ago, Brunolem said:

Same here...

Why import coconuts...send people collect them in Isaan!

Right now, my trees carries hundreds of them that no one wants to get for me, as I am a bit too old for such acrobatics...

 

Maybe you need a trained monkey, like they have in the south. 

 

My wife and I were in Chumphon and watching a couple of monkeys harvesting coconuts. I was taking pictures when one of them stops dead and looks me straight in the eye, then flips me off; yeah a monkey giving me the finger. What kind of training is that. Although being a tree worker I can relate, People treating a climber like a spectacle, when you're just trying to get your job done. 

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1 hour ago, drtreelove said:

Sr Diaz, I was puzzled by the term "quimics", until I saw the Spanish surname, and realized that you may be using the Spanish pheonetic for what Thai people call "chemi" , pui chemi is chemical fertilizer. 

 

I am not up on the current status of the Thai coconut industry, exports or regional pest infestations and chemical pesticide use. But I do know that coconut palms, wherever they grow, have a number of pest and disease issues possible. Which specific pest or pests is prevalent varies with the geographical area. Pest control methods and materials are many, one of which is stem injection of a systemic insecticide, which may or may not end up in the edible part of the nut. 

 

The coconut palm pest infestations that I have encountered in Thailand are primarily coconut rhinoceros beetle, often associated with red palm weevil infestation at the same time.  These pests commonly go to ornamental palms also. And then in some regions there is coconut hispine (or hispid) beetle.  Other countries are battling massive coconut scale insect pest infestations, caterpillars, and fungal disease issues.  I'm not sure what all is here in Thailand at this time. 

 

Chemical fertilizers would not likely be a direct issue for food toxicity. Non-systemic contact and barrier pesticides would normally not enter the plant tissues and edibles, the hazard with these is primarily for the applicator and for damage to beneficials, natural pest predators. Pyrethroids, like cypermethrin, is the barrier spray of choice for some growers, and is less toxic for the applicator and environment than some older generation insecticides that I have seen recommended in Thailand, like  chlorpyrifos, an OP.

 

There are biological and cultural controls available for most beetle pests, for conscientious growers and communities.

 

Systemic insecticides, usually organo-phosphates or newer generation neonicotinoids, if not closely regulated, are often used without due consideration of possible food contamination. There has been conflicting  information and scientific research on this subject.  But if pesticide residues are being found in the edible parts, then restrictions on imports/exports would certainly be warranted. 

 

Whether or not you should eat local coconuts from the market or roadside sales?  I do.  I really doubt that most local growers are using systemics insecticides, due to cost. 

 

Here's an example from the Philippines of one particular pest issue, and a controversial injectable systemic insecticide being used. 

https://www.scidev.net/asia-pacific/environment/news/use-of-chemical-versus-coconut-pest-stirs-hornet-s-nest.html

Yes, I was trying to say "Chemicals" , thank you for your kind and interesting post.

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Peeled coconuts may have chemicals because people do dipped them in chemicals to make the skin look white and fresh for export or to be sold in supermarkets. 

 

But the ones sold on streets that are freshly peeled don't have those preserving chemicals. Pesticides do leached into coconuts from the tree but its still a very low level, but very few pesticides actually touch the coconut itself, so coconuts in general are pretty safe.

 

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2 hours ago, drtreelove said:

Maybe you need a trained monkey, like they have in the south. 

 

My wife and I were in Chumphon and watching a couple of monkeys harvesting coconuts. I was taking pictures when one of them stops dead and looks me straight in the eye, then flips me off; yeah a monkey giving me the finger. What kind of training is that. Although being a tree worker I can relate, People treating a climber like a spectacle, when you're just trying to get your job done. 

 

Did you get a picture of the monkey giving you the finger?

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Living around lots of coconut groves, I hardly ever see any spraying of the trees. There is some spraying by growers and government agencies at the crown of the trees for the insect infestations that have taken quite a toll of the industry, but spraying for maintenance and prevention seems little done. These are all mature groves and it seems they mostly just harvest the nuts. There were a lot of trees in my area last year with orange tape around the trunks after government sponsored spraying, didn’t see any harvesting of those trees (and I hope none was done!) What is common is spraying herbicide to kill weeds on the ground, although cutting with weed whippers is also often done instead.

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3 hours ago, drtreelove said:

Maybe you need a trained monkey, like they have in the south. 

Monkeys have long been decimated in Isaan...the only thing still climbing coconut trees are some lizards...and yet not many since the locals are also after these small creatures!

 

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5 hours ago, villa82 said:

 

Did you get a picture of the monkey giving you the finger?

No unfortunately, I was so astounded that I froze.  

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dont like green coconuts dont like cocnut water dont like bounty, but give me a hard brown shell coconut that we get in UK and im all over it like a rash.   

tasty tasty very very tasty

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8 hours ago, Camilo Diaz said:

This is very disturbing.  I first didn't take this article too seriously, but then I noticed the link at the bottom to the parent article and video.  They are using a crude stem injection technique to treat coconut palms with a highly mobile insecticide that could very well end up in the coconuts, water and flesh. It is completely irresponsible and without concern for consumers.  I don't know how prevalent or widespread this is, but I wouldn't even wish it on my rude monkey to drink that coconut water. 

 

http://www.bangkokbiznews.com/news/detail/784172

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