Question: Use of coconut as input for industries has not been explored much due to lack of awareness in India. Explain potential of coconut as an income generator.
Answer: Coconut is a tropical crop that can majorly be found in coastal areas. In India, coconut has large presence in southern India and islands such as Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar.
Coconut industry in India
Majority of coconut based industries are located in coastal and southern part of the country. Its use and market is also majorly found in south.
- Low penetration
People indulged in coconut growing and industries are low in comparison to other crops. Its production is not huge yet to start a new growth revolution.
Issues in coconut crops
- High water demand
Coconut tree consumes huge amount of water for its growth, making it non-suitable for dry and low rainfall areas of the country.
Harvesting of coconuts require specialized people who can climb the trees to obtain the fruit. Non-availability of man power makes it difficult for expanding the cropping area.
- Low rates
The income from coconut is low in comparison to other similar crops such as palm. This has pushed people to explore different crops.
Potential applications of coconut
- Coconut-based food
Coconut can be used for manufacturing many food items. This includes biscuits, chocolates, cakes, beverages etc. This will add value to the produce.
- Coconut oil
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils and also has great taste. Apart from consumption, it can be used in cosmetics and aesthetics.
- Coir industry
Coir is one of the strongest natural fibres. It can be used in manufacturing mats, ropes, tables, chairs etc. There is a huge potential for its development.
Toddy drink is in great demand due to its taste and origin. Proper technology can be used to preserve the beverage and ensure it has large consumption base.
Thus, coconut is indeed a crop with widespread applications. There should be proper planning for converting the potential into results.