The Versatility And Global Significance Of Coconuts
The coconut is a very useful fruit that grows naturally in coastal regions of many countries all around the world. Although many people think it’s a nut, the coconut is actually a type of fruit called a drupe. If you find yourself stuck on an island with coconut trees, you can depend on coconuts and coconut water to survive for a long time. When the coconuts dry out, the hard outer covering can catch fire easily and be used to start a fire. Coconuts are able to grow in different kinds of soil because they are tough, but they need a good amount of rain to thrive.
These types of trees that grow in tropical regions are usually found near the coast and at the borders of deserts. The process of growing and collecting coconuts is mainly done by small farmers. Coconuts are mostly grown and harvested in places like Fiji and Samoa, which are islands near the coast, as well as in hot and humid tropical areas like India, the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia.
As a result, there is a big worldwide need for coconuts, and countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, and others in Asia that are still developing are the main producers of coconuts every year. It’s quite surprising to know that there are over 150 different kinds of coconut trees found in 80 countries all over the world. Even though Indonesia is the biggest producer of coconuts, it’s interesting to see how other Asian and continental countries are ranked in terms of coconut production.
Different Uses Of Coconut
The coconut plant is very helpful and provides many different things. People use coconut to make various products like clothes, animal food, and beauty creams. The part inside the coconut called the kernel is taken out to eat the tasty flesh and drink the water. The outer part of the coconut called the husk, has strong fibers that can be used for different things. The most important part of the coconut is its oil, which is taken out, processed, and sold for cooking, medicine, and beauty purposes. Usually, the flesh is dried until it has only 6% moisture left, and then it becomes a product called copra. This copra is taken to factories all over the world, where it is turned into oil. Another type of coconut oil called “virgin” coconut oil is made directly from fresh coconuts, although it is not used as commonly as regular oil.
Coconut Varieties And Global Distribution
Scientists have been able to find out where coconuts originally came from by studying their genes. They discovered that coconuts can be divided into two main groups: one group comes from Malay, and the other comes from India. By doing genetic tests, researchers can determine which group each coconut tree belongs to. According to Scientific American, coconuts in the Caribbean come from the Indian group, while coconuts in Central America come from the Malay group. Among the different kinds of coconuts that people grow, the Malayan Dwarf coconut with sweet flesh has become quite popular, as reported by Fruitstand.
This type of coconut tree grows quickly, produces a lot of coconuts, and can withstand difficult conditions. Because of these characteristics, it is a good choice for growing in Florida and California, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, it’s important to remember that most parts of the United States have colder weather, which is not ideal for growing coconuts. In the next part of our conversation, we will talk about the places where coconut plants grow well.
Top 5 Coconut Producers In The World
- Indonesia-Leading The World With 17.13 Million Metric Tons
Indonesia is the number one country in the world when it comes to producing coconuts. The province of North Sulawesi plays a big role in Indonesia’s coconut production. Many of the coconuts grown in Indonesia are sent to other countries. In addition to coconuts, Indonesia is also one of the top pineapple producers in the world.
- Philippines Securing- Securing Second Place With 14.77 Million Metric Tons
The Philippines is the second biggest producer of coconuts in the world. It used to be the number one producer but was overtaken by Indonesia. Important areas in the Philippines where coconuts are grown include Luzon, Southern Mindanao, and the Eastern Visayas. About one-fourth of the country’s farmland is used for growing coconuts.
- India – Claiming The Third Place With 14.68 Million Metric Tons
India is the third biggest producer of coconuts in the world. In 2016, the country produced a remarkable amount of over 119 million tonnes of coconuts. Coconut farming is very important in India’s agriculture and it makes a big contribution to the country’s economy, especially in rural areas.
- Sri Lanka – Contributing 2.47 Million Metric Tons
Sri Lanka is a country that is surrounded by water on all sides and it is known for producing a lot of coconuts. It is the fourth biggest coconut producer in the world. Every year, Sri Lanka makes around 2,470,000 tonnes of coconuts, which is almost as much as Brazil, the country that produces the most coconuts. The warm and sunny weather in Sri Lanka is perfect for growing coconuts.
- Brazil – Generating 2.33 Million Metric Tons
Brazil has become the fifth-largest coconut producer in the world. In 2016, the country made more than 2 million tons of coconuts. While Brazil doesn’t produce as much as the Asian countries on this list, its coconut industry is growing due to the increasing demand for coconut products. As the other countries mentioned, coconut production is important for Brazil’s economy.
The Outlook For Coconuts In The “Coming Years”
In today’s world, the main coconut suppliers are struggling to meet the increasing demands of the global economy. Even though they face competition from other types of oils made from plants, coconuts have been a profitable crop for a long time and show promise for the future. However, it is important for the top coconut producers around the world to learn from the current situation and take proactive steps to make sure their farms can sustainably meet future demands.
Efforts to promote fair and equitable practices in the coconut industry aim to make sure that small farmers also benefit from its success. However, these practices unintentionally slow down the rate at which production is increasing. The main reason for this is the lack of investment in maintaining the productivity of coconut farms, which is mainly due to the high costs involved. As a result, there has been a significant decrease in fruit production, with some farms producing 75% less fruit than they did 30 years ago. Another problem is that many coconut trees are getting old, with some exceeding 50 years of age and no longer producing as much fruit as they did in their best years, which were about 20 years ago.
The issue of not having enough supply to meet the increasing demand is made worse by the fact that many coconut plantations in Asia are not growing or producing as much as before. The Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) has reported that some plantations have stopped producing coconuts because the farmers are now focusing on growing oil palm instead.