Pulau Ubin Stories

Stories, old and new, about Pulau Ubin, Singapore

Friday, April 08, 2005

Fruit Plantations

Excerpts from Waller (2001)

"Coconut plantations also have little use*. The nuts are mostly fed to the chickens or burnt in large piles. Others are left on the ground where they soon sprout into small trees. Some coconuts overhang the roads and tracks where nut fall is a source of poential danger.

Of the modern economic plantations, oil palms have not been introduced, and little opportunity has been taken to increase the numbers of durian trees whose fruit commands a high price in Singapore.

Rambutans are also of good quality and numbers could probably be increased, but each time that the Malaysian ringgit falls against the Singapore dollar, it becomes less economic to market the fruit.

The woodlands are now used almost exclusively for recreational uses, such as camp sites and outward bound activities. The Outward Bound School incorporated 13% of the island's land area by 1995, and most of this is former rubber plantation. Because rubber is no longer tapped, the plantations are reverting to secondary forest."

* [Editor's Note: Interstingly, coconut has always been called the tree of hundred uses as it has various parts that can be made utilized for many purposes. So I am not sure why it says that coconuts are of little use. In fact, coconut continues to be one of the few active plantations on the island, providing fresh, locally produced refreshment for visitors of the islands. However, the islanders have also taken to importing Thai coconuts even though they produce coconuts on the islands in order to cater to the tourists' palettes. Unfortunately, since they have to pay for importing these Thai coconuts, they will be more inclined towards marketing the Thai coconuts in order not to make a loss and thus the local coconuts become overlooked. Personally I always believes in supporting the local economy by helping it become self subsistence by buying only the local coconuts which are larger, more refreshing though not as sweet. Consumer demand does play a big role in shaping the socio-economics and ecology on the island.]

Yep, it's just (coco)nuts!

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Sources:
Waller, Edmund (2001) "Landscape Planning in Singapore" (Singapore: Singapore University Press) pp.165-171

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