Coconut production in India, the world's top coconut producing nation, has been hit by droughts as a result of insufficient monsoon and natural calamities like cyclonic storms, according to a new report.
"Over the period from 2012-13 to 2016-17 coconut production in the country decreased by 1.95 per cent from 22,680.03 million nuts to 22,237.99 million nuts," says the report in the latest edition of Indian Coconut Journal, a publication of the Coconut Development Board.
"Droughts resulted by insufficient monsoon in major coconut growing states, coupled with natural calamities like cyclonic storms and effect of pests and diseases attributed mainly to this decrease," it said.
Adding more woes to the sector, the report said that during the 2012-13 to 2015-16 period, the area under coconut cultivation decreased from 21.37 lakh hectares to 20.96 lakh hectares.
The decrease in area was mainly because of rapid urbanisation, especially in Kerala,coupled with the effects of back to back cyclones which hit coastal Andhra, Tamil Nadu and Odisha, it said.
Interestingly,two major coconut growing states-Kerala and Karnataka--were outperformed by neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in productivity per hectare for 2016-17.
As per statistics of Asian and Pacific Coconut Community for 2015, India tops world production with 20,440 million nuts. As per the latest data of the Government of India, 22237.97 million nuts are produced in the country.
The statistics show that productivity at the national level for 2016-17 is 10,611 nuts per hectare.
The highest yield was from Chattisgarh at 16,508 nuts per hectare followed by Andhra Pradesh (13759 nuts/ha) and Tamil Nadu (13423 nuts/ha), reveal the statistics.
Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu outperformed by about 40 per cent the other two major coconut growing states of Karnataka (9,744 nuts/ha) and Kerala (9,663 nuts/ha), it said.
The four South Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh accounted for 89 per cent of the coconut production in the country.
Kerala, with the largest area under coconut cultivation and production accounted for 36.86 per cent of the area under the crop and 33.47 per cent of production at national level.
The Board said export of coconut products (excluding coir items) during 2016-17 fiscal was valued at Rs 20776.50 million tonnes (USD 314.77 million) against Rs 14502.40 million (USD 220 million) the previous year, a 43.26 per cent increase in terms of value.
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