Coconut output is estimated to decline in the crop season 2016-17 (July-June) by 6.22% due to deficient rainfall, according to state-run Coconut Development Board. The board conducts survey for concurrent estimation of yield of the coconut in the country every year.
The study was conducted by the board in the major coconut growing states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Coconut oil is used in household cooking in states like Kerala and Goa. It is also used in the bakery, hair oil and soap manufacturing industry. Out of the total production of nuts, only 35% is utilised for copra and coconut oil production. India is the world’s biggest buyer of vegetable oil, importing nearly 60% of its 16-17 million tonne annual consumption.
Major decrease in production at 15.86% and 10.38% is estimated in Gujarat and Odisha respectively. The four major southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh which contributes almost 91% of the country’s production, indicated comparatively lesser decrease at 8.47%, 5.85%, 5.17% and 0.81%, respectively.
The estimate indicates increased production in the states of West Bengal and Maharashtra by 3.96% and 0.37%, respectively. In Andhra Pradesh, only a meagre decrease was estimated, which is an indication that the state is returning back to normal as far as coconut production is concerned, after being severely hit by cyclonic storms Phailin and Hud Hud in successive years 2013 and 2014.
The highest productivity of 13,617 nuts per hectare (Nuts/Ha) is estimated in Andhra Pradesh and lowest productivity was estimated at 5,782 Nuts/Ha in the state of Odisha.