2. Cultivation and Varieties
3. Coconut Development Board
4. Functions Of the Board
6. Production and Marketing
Coconut, ‘Cocus nucifera linn’, the most important, ancient and useful of the tropical palms, has been cultivated in India from the time immemorial. Because of the economic importance, this plantation crop is grown in more than 90 countries across the world and India ranks third in production of coconut. Traditionally, the economic importance of coconut was laid on its nourishing water, kernel, copra, oil and coir, but laying emphasis on value addition and product diversification is widening the spectrum of its economy. The coconut is a benevolent tree, a nature’s gift to mankind, as it is a source of food, beverage, oilseed, fibres, timber, health products and also associated with mystery and omen in the life of people. The coconut tree provides clothing, utensils and dwellings, therefore, is an important source of earning livelihood to the people of coconut growing states, especially in the coastal areas. The coconut tree therefore, is eulogized, reverently as “Kalpavruksha” or tree of life by the people. The coconut crop is grown in 12.5 million hectares of land which constituted about 0.7% of net crop area of the world. The crop is grown in the coastal lowlands of continental South Asia and spread along the Indian and Pacific Ocean, the cultivation is mostly done by small and marginal farmers. According to FAO statistics 2007, about 57.9 billion nuts were produced, which was equivalent to 7.3 metric tonnes of oil. The coconut oil ranks sixth among the eight major vegetable oils of the world. India contributes about 15.46 per cent in area and 21 per cent in terms of production of coconut in the world. The coconut crop is grown in eighteen States and three Union Territories covering an area of 1.935 million hectares of land, with a production of 12,833 million nuts in the country. The major coconut crop acreage is concentrated on the West Coast region of the country comprising the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra, followed by East Coast of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Pondicherry. The coconut cultivation areas also traditionally located in the coastal region of Gujarat, Goa, West Bengal, Islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep. About 90% of the area of coconut cultivation and equally the same per cent of production of coconut are from the four Southern states, viz. Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Kerala is considered as the land of coconut and holds the key for the development of coconut production and marketing in the country. Cultivation and Varieties:
The coconut palm is found to grow under varying climatic and soil conditions. It is essentially a tropical plant growing mostly between 20oN 20oS latitudes. However, a rainfall of about 2000 mm per year, well distributed throughout, is ideal for proper growth and maximum production. Coconut is grown under different soil types such as loamy, laterite, coastal sandy, alluvial, clayey and reclaimed soils of the marshy low lands. The ideal soil conditions for better growth and performance of the palm are proper drainage, good water-holding capacity, presence of water table within 3m and absence of rock or any hard substratum within 2m of the surface. Variety
There are only two distinct varieties of coconut, the tall and the dwarf.
The tall cultivars that are extensively grown are the West Coast Tall and East Coast Tall. The dwarf variety is shorter in stature and its life span is short as compared to the tall. Tall x Dwarf (TxD), Dwarf x Tall (DxT) are the two important hybrids.
There are 10 different combination of hybrids, developed by Kerala...