Man turns discarded coconut shells into new source of income


KOTA BHARU – When there’s a will, there’s a way. That is the apt expression for Yusran Hamat, 49, who managed to turn discarded coconut shells into handicrafts in order to generate extra income for his family.

Yusran, who used to sell recycled goods to make a living, admitted that his income was affected by the implementation of the Movement Control Order, thus forcing him to look for an alternative to survive.

He said the idea to create handicrafts using discarded coconut shells sparked when he went to a shop selling coconut milk near his house.

“I went there several times and saw coconut shells being discarded just like that. One day, I get the idea of recycling coconut shells to make money.

“After thinking about the best way to do it, I began watching videos on how to make handicrafts on YouTube,” he told reporters when met at his house at Kampung Wakaf Tok Kasim, Sabak here today.

Elaborating, the father of five said after a few attempts, he finally managed to produce the shape of an island and coconut tree using the coconut shells.

“This still requires improvement. However, with the support from my wife, Fazilah Ab Ghani, 45, I am determined to proceed with the idea,” he said.

Yusran said since March last year, he began collecting coconut shells from the shop and the owner was kind enough to give them away for free.

In order to produce good handicrafts that are not easily damaged, he will ensure that the coconut shells are in good condition and hard to break.

“I will draw the desired design first on a piece of paper before placing it onto the surface of the coconut shell. Then, the coconut shell will be carved into the required shape and painted to prevent damage.

“The carving process is quite tricky because the coconut shell may break if not done carefully,” he said.

Yusran said he needed about five kilogrammes of coconut shells every week to produce handicrafts such as money boxes, cups, birds, ships and others, which are sold from as low as RM5 to RM40.

“Every day, I could produce between two and five handicrafts depending on their sizes and shapes and each product will usually take about two to 12 hours to complete.

“I will place the handicrafts at a shop nearby my house and I am able to generate about RM300 per month,” he said, adding that he planned to market his products to other areas in Kelantan.