Spike in coconut cultivation boosts foreign trade

Following unprecedented progress in coconut cultivation from mid 2014 to 2018, India has begun coconut oil exports to Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, and for the first time dry coconut exports in large quantities to the USA and European countries

May 31, 2018

Coconut productivity increased to 11,516 fruits per hectare during 2017-18 as compared with 10,122 during 2013-14; Over 2014-2018, 13,117 hectare was brought under new plantation compared with 9,561 hectare over 2010-2014

Export of coconut products rose to US$960 million during the period 2014-18, as against US$592 million recorded during 2004-2014; In 2017-18, India exported coconut worth over US$238 million while imports stood at US$38.7 million

During the period 2014-18, 5,115 coconut production committees, 430 Coconut Growers' Federation and 67 coconut producing companies have been constituted, which during 2010-14 was recorded at 4,467, 305 and 15, respectively

Besides the nutritious fruit, which is consumed in a variety of forms, the tough shell and the fibrous coating of the fruit as well as the big leaves are used by a range of industries, including handicraft, domestic fuel and furnishing

Following unprecedented progress in coconut cultivation from mid 2014 to 2018, India has begun coconut oil exports to Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, and for the first time dry coconut exports in large quantities to the USA and European countries. India has come up as a leading country in the world in terms of coconut production and productivity. Productivity increased to 11,516 fruits per hectare during the financial year 2017-18 as compared with 10,122 during 2013-14. Meanwhile, between 2014 and 2018, 13,117 hectare was brought under new plantation as compared with 9,561 hectare during 2010-2014. Owing to the increase in production, India has been exporting coconut oil to Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka since April 2017. Interestingly, till March 2017, India was importing coconut oil. Also, for the first time India has been exporting dry coconut in large quantities to the USA and Europe.

In 2017-18, India exported coconut worth over US$238 million while imports stood at US$38.7 million. Export of coconut products rose to US$960 million during 2014-18, as against US$592 million in 2004-2014. Across India’s coconut producing states, 62,403 hectares have been brought under scientific coconut farming methods as compared with 36,477 hectare in 2010-14. As a result of this expansion, coconut cultivation has spread to new areas, besides the main coconut producing states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. This includes 13,117 hectare of new production area that was brought under coconut cultivation during 2014-18 ,which was only 9,561 hectare in 2010-14. During 2014-18, 5,115 coconut production committees, 430 Coconut Growers’ Federation and 67 coconut producing companies have been constituted which in 2010-14 was 4,467, 305 and 15, respectively.

Additionally, under the skill development program of the Indian Government, 33,228 unemployed youths have been trained in the coconut development sector, as compared with 27,770 over 2004-14. Coconut is a globally consumed product and is grown in over 86 countries worldwide, with total production of around 54 billion nuts per year. Herein, India is the world’s largest producer with an annual production of around 13 billion nuts, followed by Indonesia and the Philippines. Besides the nutritious fruit, which is consumed in a variety of forms – water, flesh, milk and oil, the tough shell and the fibrous coating of the fruit as well as the big leaves are used by a range of industries, including handicraft, domestic fuel and furnishing. The tree and its produce are widely valued, especially in developing countries in the tropics for it supports a broad base of cottage enterprises and small traders.

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