Coconut Cultivation to be Promoted in a Big Way
The Modi government has decided to provide all possible assistance to the farmers in the coastal states to promote coconut cultivation in the country, according to Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh.
Tomar has said that the Centre will continue The efforts made in the field of research and development in the last few years have resulted in the development of new technologies in the field of farming and processing and further improved the available technologies.
With the increase in the number of coconut based industries in the country, new products and many employment opportunities are also increasing in the market.
Congratulating the coconut farmers and the Coconut Development Board and Sugarcane Breeding Institute for their initiatives towards the prosperity of the coconut growers community, Shri Tomar says that the agriculture sector is the backbone of the country’s economy, so it is the responsibility of the Central and State governments to strengthen it, promote it and ensure profitable farming for the farmers.
The contribution of coconut cultivation in the agricultural economy is very important. India is a leader in coconut cultivation and amongst the world’s three largest producers. Tamil Nadu contributes 21 percent of the area under coconut in the country and 26 percent of the production. Tamil Nadu ranks first in coconut processing activities and Coimbatore is first in terms of area under coconut cultivation, with an area of 88,467 hectares under coconut cultivation.
Shri Tomar said that the farmers are making significant contributions in the development of the coconut sector and increasing the agricultural economy. Coconut Development Board is forming a three-tier farmer group by integrating small and marginal farmers.
Presently there are 697 Coconut Growers Societies, 73 Coconut Growers Federations and 19 Coconut Producing Companies in the State. Support has been given to set up 537 new processing units in India with a processing capacity of 3,638 million coconuts per year. This success has been achieved through the Mission Programme implemented by the Coconut Development Board in the country. Out of these, 136 units are from Tamil Nadu, which are creating employment opportunities and also helping improve the financial condition of the farmers.
It may be noted that Coconut plays a significant role in the agrarian economy of India. Apart from the importance of copra and coconut oil which is widely used in the manufacture of soaps, hair oil, cosmetics and other industrial products, its husk is a source of fibre which supports a sizable coir industry.
The tender nut supplies coconut water, a popular thirst quencher of health and hygienic value. Virgin coconut oil (VCO), extracted from fresh coconut kernels without any chemical processes, is abundant in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, thus making it the ‘mother of all oils.
Coconut is a crop of small and marginal farmers since 98% of about five million coconut holdings in the country are less than two hectares. In the west coast of India, the palm is an essential component in the homestead system of farming. While there is a concentration of coconut plantations in the coastal regions of the country, it is also grown in the hinterlands where the agro climatic requirements of coconut cultivation are met.
Coconut is grown in more than 93 countries of the world and Indonesia, Philippines, India are the major producing countries of the world. Coconut is grown in more than 18.95 lakh ha in the country with an estimated 16943 million nuts during 2010-11 with an average productivity of 8937 nuts per ha.
Traditional areas of coconut in India are the states of Kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Goa, West Bengal, Pondicherry, Maharashtra and Islands of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar. However, several states like Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh have emerged as non-traditional areas for the cultivation of coconut.