Staff Reporter

Study finds eight per cent increase in production

Productivity is low when compared to other States

Summer rain will prove beneficial for coconut production

KASARAGOD: Production of coconuts in India has risen considerably last year, when compared to previous years, a study of Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), Kasaragod, has found.

K. Muraleedharan, scientist, who conducted a study on forecasting system for production of coconuts said the total number of coconuts produced in the country in 2007 was 15.5 billion. Three years ago the figure was 12.8 billion.

Total coconut production in the State during 2007 was 6,987 million nuts which was around eight per cent higher than the previous year, he said.

Asked whether the increase in production was because of the increase in area under cultivation, Dr. Muraleedharan said as per statistics, productivity also had increased.

Scientific cultivation

However, productivity of coconut in the State was low compared to other States. While the productivity here was 6,200 per hectare a year, that in other States was 7,000-odd, Dr. Muraleedharan said.

He attributed this to the scientific practice of cultivation practised by those States. While percentage of the total area in coconut plantations having irrigation facilities is around 90 in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, in Kerala it was a mere 20, said Dr. Muraleedharan.

According to him, the pattern of rainfall received by the State in the last few years had helped increase coconut production.

Summer rains that lashed the State this year too would help coconut cultivation, he said.

Climate change

Dr. Muraleedharan said the impact of climate changes on coconut cultivation in the State and its productivity was positive.

Increased presence of carbon dioxide and an increase of around three degree in temperature would not affect coconut production, he added.