Coconut (Cocos nucifera) plays a significant role in the agrarian economy of India. Apart from the importance of copra and coconut oil which is widely used in the manufacture of soaps, hair oil, cosmetics and other industrial products, the husk is a source of fibre which supports a sizable coir industry. The tender nut supplies coconut water, a popular thirst quencher of health and hygienic value.
Coconut is grown in more than 80 countries of the world with a total production of 49 billion nuts. India occupies a predominant position in respect of production of coconut in the world. The shares of coconut growing countries in production are: Indonesia (25.7%), Philippines (23.2%), India (23%), Sri Lanka (4.4%), others (13.7%) and other APCC countries (10%). The productivity of the crop is the highest in India with 7572 nuts/ha.
Traditional areas of coconut in India are the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Pondicherry, Maharashtra and Islands of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar. Non-traditional areas are the states of Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Tripura, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
Four southern states put together account for 92% of the total production in the country (Kerala 45.22%, Tamil Nadu 26.56%, Karnataka 10.85%, Andhra Pradesh 8.93% and other states 8.44%).
Coconut is a crop of small and marginal farmers since 98% of about five million coconut holdings in the country are less than two hectares. In the west coast of India, the palm is an essential component in the homestead system of farming where it is grown as rainfed.
Agro - climatic requirements
The coconut palm thrives well under an evenly distributed annual rainfall ranging from 1000 mm to 3000 mm. The palm requires an equitable warm and humid climate neither very hot, nor very cold. The mean annual temperature for optimum growth and maximum yield is stated to be 27 degree Celsius with a diurnal variation of 6 0C to 7 0C. The coconut palm thrives well up to an altitude of 600 m MSL.
The coconut palm can tolerate wide range of soil conditions. But the palm does show certain growth preferences. A variety of factors such as drainage, soil depth, soil fertility and layout of the land has great influence on the growth of the palm. The major soil types that support coconut in India are laterite, alluvial, red sandy loam, coastal sandy and reclaimed soils with a PH ranging from 5.2 to 8.0.
Selection of Site :
Shallow soils with underlying hard rock, low lying areas subjected to water stagnation and clay soils should be avoided. Proper supply of moisture either through well distributed rainfall or irrigation and sufficient drainage are essential for coconut.
Preparation of Land :
Size of the pit depends on the soil type and water table. In laterite soils large pits of the size 1.2m X 1.2m X 1.2 m may be dug which are filled with coconut husk for moisture conservation. The husk is to be burried in layers with concave surface facing upwards. After arranging each layer, BHC 10% DP should be sprinkled on the husk to prevent termite attack. In laterite soils, common salt @ 2 kg per pit may be applied, six months prior, on the floor of the pit to soften the hard pans.
Spacing and Planting :
In general square system of planting with a spacing of 7.5m to 9 m is practised. This will accommodate 177 to 124 palms per hectare. Planting the seedlings during May with the onset of pre-monsoon rain is ideal.
The tall varieties are extensively grown throughout India while dwarf is grown mainly for parent material in hybrid seed production and for tender coconuts. The tall varieties generally grown along the west coast is called West Coast Tall and along the east coast is called East Coast Tall. Benaulim is the tall variety grown in Goa and coastal Maharashtra.
Laccadive Ordinary, Laccadive Micro, Tiptur Tall, Kappadam, Komadan and Andaman Ordinary are some of the tall varieties.
Chowghat Dwarf Orange, Chowghat Dwarf Yellow, Chowghat Dwarf Green, Malayan Yellow Dwarf and Malayan Orange Dwarf are some of the dwarf varieties grown in India. Gangabondam is a semi tall type grown in certain tracts of Andhra Pradesh. Many hybrid combinations of tall and dwarf are also grown in the country.
Performance of coconut varieties/ Hybrids
|Oil Yield |
|West Coast Tall||81||176||68||1.69|
|East Coast Tall||86||100||63||0.96|
|Banavali Green Round||151||151||68||2.74|
(COD X WCT)
(LO X COD)
(LO X GB)
(WTC X GB)
(AO X GB)
Maintenance of Coconut Garden
Regular manuring from the first year of planting is essential to ensure good vegetative growth, early flowering and bearing and high yield. Organic manure at the rate of 25 - 50 kg per palm per year may be applied with the onset of south west monsoon when soil moisture content is high. Different forms of organic manures like compost, farmyard manure, bonemeal, fish meal, neem cake, groundnut cake, gingelly cake, etc. could be used for this purpose. Green manure crops like sunhemp, gliricidia, dhaincha, etc. could also be grown as intercrops to incorporate in the coconut basins later.
Manures and Fertilizers :
FYM at the following rates may be applied :
Fertilizers may be applied at the following rate (g/plant) :
Under basin irrigation, 200 l/ palm once in 4 days will be beneficial. In areas where water is scarce drip irrigation system can be adopted.
Pests & Diseases :
The major insect pests of the coconut palm are the rhinoceros beetle, the leaf eating caterpillar, red palm weevil, the root eating white grub, etc. These pests can be controlled by adopting the following measures:
Rhinoceros beetle: The beetle attacks fronds and cuts the leaves before opening. Killing the beetles by hooks mechanically is the most effective. The breeding places such as decaying organic matter, FYM, dead palms, etc. should be treated with insecticides. Biological control by release of exotic predator and bacteria infected beetles are effective measures.
Leaf eating caterpillar: This insect eats green portion of the plant. Spraying insecticides like carbaryl or endosulfan @ 2 g /l of water controls this pest.
Red palm weevil : The larva of the weevil bores into the trunk and feeds on the inner tissue making large holes. Externally exudation of reddish gum is only visible. The palm may die if the attack is severe.
Coconut palm is affected by a number of diseases, some of which are lethal while others gradually reduce the vigor of the palm causing severe loss in the yield. Important diseases are bud rot, root wilt, leaf rot, leaf blight, mahali or fruit rot and nut fall, stem bleeding, ganoderma wilt, Crown choking disease, etc. Control measures of some of these diseases are stated briefly below.
Bud rot: Young plants are damaged most. Application of copper oxychloride @ 4g /l of water or Bordeux mixture in the leaf area can control the disease.
Stem bleeding: Exudation of reddish brown liquid through cracks on trunk which turn brown later is observed. Cavity may develop beneath the affected area. Scraping the affected area and then application of Bordeux mixture or copper oxychloride or mancozeb is recommended.
Farmers can keep in touch with the local officials of the Departments of Agriculture or Horticulture or Coconut Board for technical guidance to control the pests and diseases. The pests and diseases can be kept under control by adopting the recommended package of practices.
Coconuts are harvested at varying intervals in a year. The frequency differs in different areas depending upon the yield of the trees. In well maintained and high yielding gardens, bunches are produced regularly and harvesting is done once a month.
Coconuts become mature in about 12 months after the opening of the spathe. It is the ripe coconut which is the source of major coconut products. Nuts which are eleven months old give fibre of good quality and can be harvested in the tracts where green husks are required for the manufacture of coir fibre. Economic life of the coconut palm can be considered as 60 years.
Utilisation of Coconut
Coconut industry in the country is mainly confined to traditional activities such as copra making, oil extraction, coir manufacture & toddy tapping.
Products such as desiccated coconut, coconut based handicrafts, shell powder, shell charcoal and shell based activated carbon are also manufactured in the country on a limited scale.
Coconut development :
Development programmes in the country are mainly carried out by the Coconut Development Board. The Board's schemes are either implemented directly or through the department of Agriculture/Horticulture of the states.
Financial institutions have also formulated coconut financing schemes in potential areas both for fresh coconut planting and intensive cultivation. Integrated coconut development schemes with farm infrastructure facilities like well, pumpset, fencing, drip irrigation system etc. have also been considered.
Unit Cost :
The unit cost varies from state to state. The cost presented here is indicative only. The entrepreneurs and the bankers are requested to consult our Regional Offices for the latest information in this regard. The unit cost estimated for this model scheme is Rs.64,470/- per ha capitalised upto the seventh year. The break-up deatails are given in Annexure I.
Financial Analysis :
Results of financial analysis are indicated below :
NPW at 15% DF : Rs.62723 (+)
BCR at 15% DF : 1.96 : 1.00
IRR : 16.42%
Detailed analysis is presented in Annexure II.
Margin Money :
The margin money assumed in this model scheme is 5% of the total financial outlay.
Interest Rate :
Interest rate may be decided by by the banks as per the RBI guidelines.
Banks may charge such security as permissible under the RBI guidelines.
The bank loan with interest is repayable within 14 years with a grace period of 8 years. The details are presented in Annexure III.
Model scheme for development of Coconut in one Hectare
Spacing : 7.5m x 7.5 m
Plant population : 175
Estimated Cost (Rs/Ha)
|1||Planting Material (10% extra)||2880|
|6||Fencing (Live Hedge)||750|
|8||OPERATION & LABOUR||4500||1750||1750||2000||2000||2500||2500||3100|
|Rounded off to||19520||5130||6080||6970||7870||9000||9900||10850|
*Not to be capitalised
|Yield of nuts||Year|
|1 - 6||7||8||9||10||11||12 onwards|
|Gross sale value @ Rs.5.50/nut (In Rupees)||0||9,625||19,250||38,500||48,125||57,750||67,375|
|Maintenance Expenditure (Rs/ha)||0||10,850||10,850||10,850||10,850||10,850||10,850|
Financial Analysis (Coconut)
|Capital cost (Rs.)||19520||5130||6080||6970||7870||9000||9900|
|Maintenance cos t(Rs.)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||10855||10855||10855||10855||10855||10855|
|Total cost (Rs.)||19520||5130||6080||6970||7870||9000||9900||10855||10855||10855||10855||10855||10855|
|Net Benefit (Rs.)||-19520||-5130||-6080||-6970||-7870||-9000||-275||8395||27645||37270||46895||56520||56520|
|DF at 15%||0.870||0.756||0.658||0.572||0.497||0.432||0.376||0.327||0.284||0.247||0.215||0.187||1.044|
|PWC at 15% df||16974||3879||3998||3985||3913||3891||3722||3549||3086||2683||2333||2029||11333||65373|
|PWB at 15% df||0||0||0||0||0||0||3618||6293||10944||11896||12413||12593||70340||128096|
|NPW at 15% Df||62723|
Annexure - III
Repayment Schedule (Coconut)
Total Financial Outlay 64470
Margin money @ 5% of TFO 3224
Bank Loan 61247
(Amount in Rs.)
|Year||Loan disbursed||Net benefit||Interest @ 12%||Deferred Interest||Payment of Interest||Payment of def.erred interest||Repayment Principal||Total outgoing||Surplus||Principal Outstanding|
Repayment period is 14 years including 8 years grace period