Coconut output falls 10% in 2018-19 amid climate changes

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on December 12, 2019


The vagaries of nature seem to have taken its toll on India’s coconut production, which fell 10 per cent in the 2018-19 agriculture year.

Production during the period was 21,384 million nuts, against 23,798 million nuts in 2017-18. The overall productivity was 9,815 nuts per hectare in 2018-19 (11,350 nuts/ha).

The productivity of the major southern States such as Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu stood at 10,083 nuts (10,472), 8,327 nuts (12,102), 12,144 (13,632) nuts per hectare respectively, official sources said.




However, there was a nominal increase in the area of production during the period at 21.79 lakh ha (20.97 lakh ha).

Official sources attribute the decline to a slide in production in these three States. The abiotic stresses, mainly climatic changes, have affected crop production. In Karnataka and Tamil Nadu especially, drought and heat stress along with pest attack (white fly being a major threat) resulted in a drastic drop in the production figures. In addition, Kerala witnessed major floods, which also resulted in a decline of production and wiped off a few acres.

These are provisional figures released by the Horticulture Division of the Agriculture Ministry. Final figures are expected to be released in a couple of months.

The Coconut Development Board has taken several measures to increase production with a focus on improving productivity in major growing States. These include eradication and controlling measures for pest and diseases, scientific management practices for increasing production, the sources added.

Kerala has emerged as the leader in terms of production with a share of 36 per cent, followed by Tamil Nadu at 25 per cent and Karnataka at 24 per cent.

In Kerala, there was a production drop of 2 million nuts in 2018-19 due to drought and floods. The figure stood at 7,631 million nuts during the period, against 8,452 million nuts in 2017-18. The production area has also come down to 7.57 lakh hectares, against 8.07 lakh hectares.

Published on December 12, 2019

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