Agro-industry is companies that process agricultural raw materials derived from plants or animals into semi-finished goods or final products. Processing may include the transformation and preservation through physical or chemical changes, storage, packaging, and distribution (Austin, 1996). According Tadjudin (2001), agro-industries in the agricultural system is the refinement of stringing all the components into one powerful unit. This means that the development of agro-industry linkages have to meet market demand by strengthening the downstream industry and provide added value to agricultural products. The integration is built through the development of agro-industry has very wide dimensions start from the strengthening of agricultural markets and the establishment value-added and competitiveness of agricultural commodities.
Basically, all parts of the coconut fruit can be processed into various products for various needs. Processing technologies, quality standards and certification system has also been occupied by Indonesia specialists. However, various weaknesses still inherent in the coconut processing industry such as supply of raw materials, because the industry does not have coconut plantation and the relatively large investment so that investors are less attractive (FOKPI, 2006).
Allorerung and Lay (1998) stated that most of the coconut is processed into copra are further processed into cooking oil. But this business is growing weaker in the domestic and foreign trade because of they lost to oil palm. Besides processed into oil, has now grown diversification of coconut products, such as dessicated coconut, sugar palm, nata de coco, coconut meat products, dry grated coconut, coconut shell charcoal, coconut coir fiber, coconut wood furniture and coconut milk with variety of packaging. Development opportunities of Coconut agribusiness with high economic value products are very large.
Alternative products that can be developed include Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), Oleochemical (OC), Desicated Coconut (DC), Coconut Milk / Cream (CM / CC), Coconut Charcoal (CCL), Activated Carbon (AC), Brown Sugar (BS), Coconut Fiber (CF) and Coconut Wood (CW), cultivated partially or integrated. Agribusiness products are able to increase revenues 5-10 times compared to when only sell products copra. Departing from the fact the extent of the potential for product development, economic progress of the Coconut at the macro level (competitiveness in global markets) and micro (income farm, value added of domestic and import substitution) appears to be increasingly demanding support for the coconut industry through cluster development as a prerequisite (Allorerung et al. 2005).
At this time coconut processing industry is still dominated by semi-finished products in the form of copra and coconut crude oil (CCO). Other processed products that have started to develop are the Coconut Cream, nata decoco (ND), DC, AC, CF, and brown sugar (BS). Development of CCO in the last 10 years shows that the rate of decline (-0.2%). On the other hand the rate of development of downstream products is likely to increase. For example, the rate development of DC reached 7.8%, where in 2002 the total production reached 194.2 million; rate of development of AC production reached 9%; rate of development of coir fiber production decreased to 10.2%, although demand CF outside the country increased. The tendency rate of decline was related to the impact of unfulfilled export standard coir fiber products from Indonesia. This situation indicates the shift the orientation of the production from semi-finished materials into final products (Allorerung et al. 2005).
Activities of coconut industry that is integrated will give two benefits at once the first profitable in terms of agribusiness and the second helped preserve nature. Coconut oil is one commodity that has the largest area in West Lampung district which until now has not touched a lot of investors, while the potential that exists as like is described above when utilized will bring benefits in terms of business. In addition, for local governments and communities will be a source of additional income.
Prestige coconut started to decline with the rise palm plantations because of the point of view on the coconut products is limited to oil products, while other products have not worked optimally. Coconut agro-industry development in the West Lampung regency considered very necessary to be realized given the potential for locally owned very large. Besides coconut agro-industry is expected to become the motor (prime mover) to the economy of communities and regions.