Almost every part of a coconut tree is useful for the society in many ways. Coconut Development Board has come out with a catchy slogan: “Coconut comes with a promise. The promise of good health”. As part of promoting coconut in different parts of India, the Board has taken the health route for its promotion.
The promotion advertisement further adds, “Good health starts with coconut. It not only helps against digestive and nutrient absorption disorders but is also found effective in fighting degenerative diseases. So to discover a healthier life, all you have to do is add coconut to your diet.”
Recently, the Chairman of Coconut Development Board has gone on record saying these words - “While formulating the 12th five year plan, the Coconut Development Board (CDB) aims to take India to the number one position in coconut – in production, productivity, processing, value addition and exports.” Extract from the CDB’s reports point out under the 12th plan, CDB’s main aim to spread coconut based integrated farming to maximize the revenue of the farmers by optimizing the use of land, water and sunlight.
Board’s aim is to put the coconut farmer in the forefront. Board is foreseeing a good potential in non traditions areas like western Orissa, Western Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, parts of Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal and all the northeastern states are also on their agenda. With proper planned coconut cultivation, the issue of migration from rural areas, rural dissatisfaction, lack of employment opportunities and lack of the value chain from agriculture can be addressed.
In agriculture, coconut could be the crop to watch for creating forward value chain as it offers maximum potential in the Indian context for forward value chain; coconut is a food crop, cash crop, plantation crop, horticultural crop and an edible oil seed. Every part including the shell of coconut can be used. Biological waste from coconut, too, can be used as organic manure including power generation. As an example, a Coimbatore-based organization known as K.G.Group is proposing to use coconut waste to generate two megawatts power and 20 lakh litres of desalinated potable drinking water in Kuttanadu in Kerala.
Some of the main products derived from a coconut tree are: Virgin coconut oil; Coconut water; Tender coconut water blended with pineapple; Coconut cream/milk; Skimmed coconut milk; Spray dried coconut milk powder; Desiccated coconut is largely used by confectionaries and bakery units; Coconut chips; Coconut vinegar; Copra; Toddy; Coconut cheese; Coconut cake; Coconut flour; Coconut Lassi, Coconut soufflé; Snow Ball Tender Nut; Coconut Candy, Coconut Shell products.
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