Copra is the dried form of coconut meat. On a commercial scale, initially the firm white coconut meat of a matured coconut is processed in a hot kiln at a...
As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India has a plethora of opportunities to enhance its exports. Coconuts and coconut products are one of the major export commodities for India. In fact, India is one of the top exporters of coconuts and its products around the world.
Coconut production around the world
The South East of Asia is believed to be where the cultivation of coconut originated. Hence, it is no surprise that Indonesia and Philippines are the major coconut exporters globally. Next to these south-east Asian countries, India is the third top exporter of coconut. Today, coconut is produced in about 86 countries around the world.
Coconut and its products
Coconut tree is one of the most versatile tree crops with every part of it holding some use in one form or other. The copra, the coconut fibre, the coconut oil, tender coconut water, coir, coconut milk and the husk are in great demand. Coconut and its products are used for various edible and non-edible purposes. A coconut tree, on an average, on a fertile land, can yield up to 75 fruits per year. With technological advances and better cultivation practices, the yield of coconuts has increased manifolds.Further, coconut farms can also adapt to contradicting farming practices as well as soil changes. They can also tolerate the varying agro-climatic regions.
Most of the production of coconuts is process into copra which is of high-demand all over the world. Kernels, desiccated coconuts, fresh fruits and related edible coconut products are also high in-demand. In the international market, there are over fifty different types of coconut products – unprocessed, semi-processed and processed being handled and packed to be sent to other countries.
Coconut exports from India
Over the years, coconut production has helped the economy of India colossally. In states where coconuts are produced, it is one of the leading influences of the economy in those areas. Coconut farming has been responsible for a good number of employments in rural areas. Further, the processing, manufacture, packaging and shipping industries have gained from coconut exports enriching more livelihoods. The gains of coconut export have contributed fairly to the GDP. For these reasons, the production of coconuts has also shifted to other belts in the hope to tap the increasing international market of coconuts and coconut products.
The technological advances have made greater shelf-life, better quality and high nutritional value of coconuts and its products possible. The need of organic coconuts and coconut products has also helped India in making a niche market for itself in the international coconut market. Organic practices like composting and mulching have helped farmers increase in the tropical yields thus increasing the export in India.
Increasing the shelf-life and decreasing the contamination due to adulterants, microbes and toxicants that can cause potential damage to the country’s exports is necessary. This is why quality certifications and standards need to be strictly adhered. International trade demands that stand procedures need to be followed from the time of growth and harvest to the time of processing of raw materials and final delivery of the product. If the government enhance the standards and stick to the stringent measures, the export of coconut and coconut products from India can be further increased.