The marketability of the coconut palm plants

The marketability of the coconut palm plants

India is by far the world's top producer of coconut palm plants, accounting for roughly 31.45% of global output in only the previous year alone on average. It produces roughly 19,247 million nuts overall. The country's gross domestic product (GDP) is influenced by the coconut plantation sector as a whole. For individuals in India, the coconut palm plant tends to offer us a lot of regular food security, which may assist enhance our chances of making a living. It is by far the most fibre-yielding crop and supports over 15,000 coir-based companies in addition to giving roughly 6 lakh people permanent work. According to estimates, the national level of production for the whole coconut plantation business is at its peak, making it a sizeable contributor to the economy. There is a lot of coir manufacture based on the traditional coconut-based activities that are still practised in the nation thanks to the production of copra as well as the processing of coconut oil with correct extraction. Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh account for the majority of both the country's total coconut production and its coconut-growing area, which together make up around 89.13% of the nation. Other states that grow coconuts include West Bengal, Orissa, and Gujarat.   

Coconut is generally a very versatile crop that is supposedly grown all over the world. India being one of the major countries for plantations, usually accounts for about three-fourths of the global coconut production. India accounts for nearly 31% of global coconut output. Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh are some of the leading producers of coconut in the country. Coconut, copra, and coconut oil markets are usually concentrated in these four southern states of India. The price of coconut, as well as that of coconut oil, is highly influenced by many factors including production, the rising global demand, several policy decisions of the government that are being formulated from time to time, the rise in all the prices of other vegetable oils, etc. The marketability, as well as the price realization of coconut plantings and coconut products, tend to eventually determine the financial security of the coconut farmers. The price behaviour of coconut palm plants and their products has a definite and profound influence on the rural economy as well as the many states of India.                      

Government Initiatives

The Coconut Board of India, which is under the aegis of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has implemented many strategic programs that can help to develop the coconut industry of our country and coconut plantations. Some of the many schemes usually tend to include the production and distribution of several quality planting materials which will apply to the overall expansion of the area that is kept reserved for coconut cultivation. The actual technology demonstration, as well as the overall improvement, also includes the process of replanting and rejuvenation as well as, complete support to the exporters for those who are participating in many international events, holistic training for the entire market promotion of the overall export-specific products, as well as developing the existing market for coconut products to thrive globally. This is possible only when we are effectively creating opportunities and more scope for marketing. Other prominent schemes are the Coconut Palm Insurance Mission and the Kera Suraksha Insurance Scheme which can help protect coconut farmers from any sort of natural calamity and impending loss. 

Technology Mission on Coconut (TMoC)

This mission is generally initiated to help converge as well as synergize with all the efforts that tend to go through the vertical as well as the horizontal integration of the existing programs that can be included as well as addressed for the problems that will otherwise help to bridge the gaps through all the appropriate schemes in the existing mission mode. This scheme will help to ensure that there is just about adequate if not appropriate and timely concurrent action which will make coconut farming far more competitive and can ensure reasonable returns for all the farmers.

Usually, the key components of this mission are to focus on the overall development as well as to adopt all the technologies for effectively managing the possible occurrence of insect pests as well as for the common usage in disease-affected coconut gardens. It is also mostly focused on the stages of processing along with the different stages of product diversification, the actual overall market research, as well as with in-depth promotions. It can also help to entail some sort of financial assistance that can help the entrepreneurs or farmers who are concerned about setting up the coconut-based industries to effectively increase the overall focus on the complete research and development, concentrating mainly on the post-harvest processing, the actual monitoring of the product diversification, as well as in focusing on the value addition as well as the overall management of the pests and diseases.

Coconut Development Board (CDB)

The CDB is the actual statutory body that operates under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare that can usually work towards developing a proper coconut cultivation process as well as booming the overall industry in India. The board is very prominent with its functions focused on the development of the coconut industry, advising as well as in the overall imparting of technical knowledge to the farmers. It also aims to adequately provide financial assistance to the farmers while also improving their marketing, implementing much-needed schemes as well as in collecting a good amount of statistics for all the publicity activities and initiatives. 

Consumption patterns of coconut plantings

The usual consumption pattern of coconut plantings is always focused on creating a wide range of possibilities to derive subordinate uses of the overall coconut. It is very interrelated to the marketing schemes, the production facilities, as well as the in-depth understanding of it, ’s demand across various industries. In this aspect, coconut farms tend to categorize coconut sales in these range of uses: 

- Raw coconut for culinary purposes

- Copra for edible and mailing purposes

- Coconut oil for edible needs

- Coconut oil for topical usage

- Tender coconut

- Coconuts for religious purposes and temple usage

- Packaging of tender coconut, desiccated coconut, coconut milk, and usage in making toiletries

This has greatly helped to Introduce premium quality value-added products of coconut to become part of the consumer base prevalent in most major cities at a very affordable cost.

 They can also develop a stable market for those products with are usually in steady demand while developing a strong supply chain for the overall linking of the processing units and the retail points. You can ensure that there is also a steady supply of products that are based on consumer demand as well. 

The Functions of the CDB in coconut plantations                                  

There are several functions of the CDB and one of them is to adopt adequate measures for the overall development of the coconut industry. This is crucial in recommending measures that are aimed at improving the marketing process of the coconut plantations and their products. By imparting adequate technical advice and by keeping those engaged in the overall coconut cultivation process as well as the industry. By providing financial as well as other assistance for the overall expansion of the area under the coconut farms, the statutory body can help in the adoption of modern technologies for effectively processing coconut and its sub-products. Some of the measures taken to adopt control over the entire system are with the incentive prices for the coconut and its products. It also focuses on recommending adequate measures for effectively regulating the imports and exports of coconut and its products. The governing body also aims at fixing grades and setting adequate specifications, and standards for coconut production and its sub-products. It also aims to finance suitable schemes that help to increase the production of the coconut and to effectively improve the overall quality and yield of the coconut.

By fully assisting, as well as encouraging and promoting the financial needs of farmers who are engaged in the coconut plantations are also aimed towards agricultural, industrial, technology-related, or in whole economic research of the coconut plantings and its products, the governing body also helps with financing suitable schemes that are directed towards growing the coconut on a large scale to effectively increase the overall production of the coconut planting and to improve its actual quality as well as yield.                                                         

The development programs implemented by the Board under the project Integrated Development of Coconut Industry in India are- the production and distribution of planting material, expansion of area under coconut, integrated farming for productivity improvement, technology demonstration, market promotion, and Information and Information Technology. Under the Technology Mission on Coconut, the programs implemented by the Board are the development, demonstration, and adoption of technologies for the management of insect pest and disease-affected coconut gardens, the development and adoption of technologies for processing and product diversification, and market research and promotion.                                                

Seasonality is another factor that is strongly visible in the coconut market price. In general, coconut prices remain low during the monsoon season and with the onset of the winter season, the price starts picking up. Based on the monthly price, it can be observed that the highest prices are recorded during November-December and the lowest prices during May-June.

The close of the harvest season in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, sluggishness in tender nut demand during monsoon, and the increasing demand from upcountry markets for coconut oil during festival seasons were attributed as the major reasons for this changing price pattern. Presently, the price pattern is influenced by various other factors such as the setting up of tender coconut water, virgin coconut oil, and other coconut processing units in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and the increase in the usage of tender coconut from the earlier 10-15% 

Re-Orientation of the Coconut Plantations to Meet the Demand 

             Coconut farming is a labour-intensive process that involves planting, harvesting, and post-harvest processing of coconut trees. Post-harvest processing is essential for the production of coconut products such as copra, oil, and milk. The post-harvest processing of coconuts involves several steps such as husking, drying, and milling. These processes are necessary to ensure that the quality of the final product meets the required standards. The post-harvest processing also helps to reduce wastage and increase efficiency in coconut plantations.

Post-harvest processing of coconut is now being changed from edible and inedible traditional products to several other value-added products. Research conducted by the Board and other research institutions with the technical and financial support of the Board has developed new technologies for several coconut products and byproducts. Presently several food products are developed from coconut kernels like desiccated coconut, coconut milk powder, coconut milk, and virgin coconut oil which have high demand and prospects for commercial production and marketing. Hence high kernel output per hectare has now emerged as an important factor in coconut. We have to analyze various characteristics that facilitate industrial processing taking into account the changing uses of coconut and the changing technologies in handling and processing. Other important changes, namely, the small size of holdings due to the fragmentation of coconut land and the necessity to breed varieties and forms suitable for smallholder management need to be explored. A fast-growing consumer demand is recorded for coconut kernel-based products especially in those areas where fresh coconut is not readily available and in cities where people do not have enough time to grate coconut for various culinary purposes.