India nears top in coconut output, not in value addition
India ranks second in the output of coconuts, and first in productivity, with an annual average of 8,303 nuts per hectare.
According to the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC), India produces 15,730 million nuts annually, next to Indonesia with 16,498 million. In area under cultivation, India is third; Indonesia again comes first, with a total of 385 million hectare; India’s area is 189.4 million hectare. Sri Lanka is second in global productivity, with 7,223 nuts per hectare.
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India is also the highest domestic consumer, at 1,494.4 million nuts annually, followed by Indonesia with 996.5 million. India consumes 95 per cent of its total output; Indonesia consumes 60 per cent. According to the APCC, Malaysia is the largest importer of coconut and coconut-based products; it imports 1,400 million nuts. It produces 379 million nuts from 10 million hectare, the consumption being 112.9 per cent of their total production, according to APCC’s 2009 estimates.
Sri Lanka ranks first in percentage of total export earning, with 3.6 per cent (from $253 million of coconut export). India's annual export earnings from coconut and coconut-based products is $178.2 million, the contribution to total export earning being only 0.1 per cent. The highest export earner is Philippines, with $884 million.
APCC is an inter-government body, set up in 1969 under the aegis of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, headquartered at Jakarta. India is a founder-member and APCC now has 16 member-countries. Plus, two associate members, Jamaica and Kenya.
India lags far in processing and export when compared to other major producers. Sri Lanka’s production and productivity are less than that of Tamil Nadu, but their export of value-added products is manifold of India.
In India, coconut is commercially produced in 18 states and three Union Territories but huge variations are observed in productivity. The highest, 19,630 nuts per hectare, is in Lakshadweep. That of the major growing states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are 5,193, 7,365, 13,771 and 9,327 nuts, respectively, show data from the Coconut Development Board.