Event Statement

The Government of Kerala and the Coconut Development Board, Government of India, are jointly holding an International Conference and Exposition on Coconut Development in order to formulate ways of taking the sector forward. The two-day Conference and Exposition will be held on November 2 and 3, 2019. The Conference is organised by the State Planning Board in collaboration with the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation. The Exposition is organised by Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation. The Conference and Exposition will be held at The Gateway Hotel, Kozhikode, Kerala.

The Conference will bring together experience and expertise from Kerala and other parts of India and the world. It will raise issues of modern coconut farming, the most recent technological developments in value-addition, the contemporary trade regime, and institutional arrangements for coconut development. The Conference will draw on Indian experience and experience of scientists and policy makers of leading producer countries of the world.

The objective of the Conference is to help Kerala learn from the best practices in the world with respect to industrial applications to coconut, and coconut production itself. Kerala must formulate a strategy for a sustained growth path with respect to production and productivity of coconut as well as value addition in the coconut industry. The Conference will try to evolve a sustainable and integrated development model for coconut cultivation and coconut-based industry in the State, by means of enhanced productivity, diversified value-added products, and market opportunities.

The Exposition will offer a platform for processors, manufacturers, suppliers, fabricators, and entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services. It will serve as a Business-to-Business (B2B) Meet for local buyers and national and international buyers, processors, and suppliers.

Together, the Exposition and the Conference will provide a platform for interaction between farmers, scientists, industrial entrepreneurs, producers’ organisations, and Government to meet and discuss new technologies, best practices, research results, current market trends, and opportunities for primary production and value addition.

International Coconut Conference & Expo-Interactive Session with Business Fraternity

Gains from the Conference


  • Learn from the best practices in leading producer countries
  • Familiarise with modern farming methods
  • Know more about modern agricultural equipment
  • Learn from India’s top cultivators


  • Be a part of latest technological developments
  • Explore new potentials in value addition and innovation
  • Learn from top producers in India and the world
  • Understand current market trends


  • Business-to-business (B2B) meet with buyers, processors, and suppliers
  • Explore business opportunities and partnerships
  • Explore investment avenues
  • Learn about new business models

Policy makers

  • Learn from policies and programmes of leading countries
  • Understand the emerging requirements of the sector
  • Discuss implications of trade policies in the sector
  • Explore emerging thrust areas in production, value addition and marketing

International Speakers

  • Uron N Salum Executive Director , International Coconut Community
  • Dr Steve W Adkins Professor, University of Queensland (UQ), Brisbane, Australia
  • Dr. Normansyah Syahruddin Deputy Director for Market Development for Estate Crops Products, Directorate General of Estate Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, Indonesia.
  • Dr. Priyanthie Fernando Former Director, Coconut Research Institute, Sri Lanka
  • Edna A Anit, PhD Officer in Charge, Crops Research Division (CRD), DOST-PCAARRD, Philippines
  • Dr. Qiuyu Xia Associate Professor Coconut Research Institute(CRI)
  • Sentoor Kumeran Govindasamy Senior Scientist
  • Dr. (Mrs) Vijitha R M Vidhanaarachchi Head / Tissue Culture Division
  • Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh President of VietNam Coconut Association
  • Mrs. PEYANOOT NAKA Adviser of Department of Agriculture.
  • Anandkumar

National Speakers

  • Dr. KSMS Raghavarao Director of CSIR-CFTRI
  • Dr. V Niral Principal Scientist (Genetics) in the Division of Crop Improvement, ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod.
  • Dr. K B Hebbar Head of Division, Plant Physiology, Biochemistry and Post-Harvest Technology, ICAR-CPCRI, Kasaragod.
  • R Ramakumar NABARD Chair Professor, School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
  • Ajit Mathai Founding Partner, mByom Consulting and Management Services LLP, Chennai
  • Prof. Dr. Rakesh Kumar Sharma Vice Chancellor, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Chennai, and former Director, Defence Food Research Laboratory, Mysore, Karnataka.
  • Dr. Thamban. C Principal Scientist (Agrl. Extension) at ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod.
  • Dr Jacob John Professor and Head, Integrated Farming System Research Station, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
  • Dr. K.M. Nair Former Principal Scientist, ICAR-NBSS&LUP, Bangalore.
  • James J. Nedumpara  Professor and Head, Centre for Trade and Investment Law
  • Dr. Regi Jacob Thomas Principal Scientist (Horticulture), ICAR - Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasargode
  • Dr Ravi Bhat Head, Division of Crop Production, ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod
  • Dr Jayan Jose Thomas Associate Professor of Economics
  • JAYASEKHAR S Senior Scientist
  • Dr.(Mrs). Anitha Karun Director(Acting), ICAR-CPCRI
  • Prof (Dr.) Jiju P Alex Director of Extension
  • Dr. T.M. Thomas Isaac Minister for Finance and Coir
  • Dr K P Sudheer Associate Director of Research
  • Dr. K.M.Sreekumar Professor, College of Agriculture

Experience sharing

  • Mr. C. H. Mohamed Managing Director of Connolly Agriculture Producer Company Pvt. Ltd.
  • Krishnanunni. K. Farmer, Winner of Karshakothaman and Kashakasree
  • Mr. Sunny George Chairman, Thejaswini Coconut Farmers Producer Company Ltd.
  • Mr. Paul Francis Managing Director, KLF Nirmal Industries (P) Ltd
  • Mr. Rajarathinam. K. Proprietor, Essar Engineering , Coimbatore
  • K.C. Sreedharan Nambiar Director of Anjarakandy Farmers’ Service Co-operative Bank
  • Mr. Ananthakrishnan Managing Partner, Ananth Dryers
  • Mr. M. A. Lukmanjee Managing Director, Adamjee Lukmanjee Group of Companies
  • Mr. Ubais Ali Executive Director, Mezhukkattil Mills
  • Malappattam Prabhakaran Journalist, Award winning writer specialising in Agriculture
  • Jijo Paul Founder & CEO, Resnova Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
  • Dominic M. M. Farmer, Winner of National Award for Best Coconut Farmer, 2014-16
  • O.V.R. Somasundaram Award winning planter and expert, Tamil Nadu
  • Mr. Raam Mohan CEO, Umapathy Farms
Uron N Salum

Will be update soon


Will be update soon

Dr Steve W Adkins

He obtained his PhD in weed physiology from the University of Reading in England in 1981 and has served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon in Canada (1981-84) and at Murdoch University, Perth, Australia (1984-88). He is now based at UQ and has spent the last 30 years studying various tropical and subtropical crops and pastures, their weeds and the native plant community. Steve has held several leadership roles at UQ since 2010, including Deputy Director and Acting Director in the UQ Centre for Plant Architectural Informatics. In these roles, he has led initiatives that have improved teaching quality and the student experience, instituted guidelines and funding schemes for supporting the career development of RHD students and ECRs, and established several new cross-cutting research networks in collaboration with key external partners. He has served as Treasurer and for two terms as the President of the Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society. His research focus is tropical plants especially coconut, and conservation using ex situ seed banking and tissue culture. He has been a principle investigator and scientific advisor on more than 50 scientific projects worth more than $12 million. He has published more than 180 peer reviewed papers in international journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and supervised more than 50 research higher degree and 40 honours students to completion.

Major Five Publications

E-mail: s.adkins@uq.edu.au


Coconut Improvement: Tissue Culture Techniques for the Collection, Conservation and Multiplication of Elite Germplasm

Steve Adkins, Mike Foale, Julianne Biddle and Quang Thien Nguyen
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.
E-mail: s.adkins@uq.edu.au

Primarily grown on 12 million hectares across more than 90 tropical and subtropical, coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) is one of the world’s most highly valued palm crops. This species contributes directly to the amenity and income for 20 million small-holder farmers and their dependents, providing food, health benefits, structural products as well as aesthetic beauty to the landscape. Apart from coconut water and sugar, beneficial effects of various oil products have been increasingly acknowledged worldwide by users, becoming one of the most attractive functional foods in the recent years. In addition, special coconut varieties, which have uniquely deliciously buttery endosperm or a flavoursome water, are also attracting considerable attention in many countries. However, coconut productivity has been constrained by several factors, including those of advanced palm age, reduced soil fertility, extreme weather events, the wide spread incidence of phytophagous insects and lethal diseases as well as competition for traditional lands from other crops. There is now a significant requirement for producing new palms, from a wide range of elite genotypes, on a large scale, to replace the old, unproductive palms and to meet the increase in demand for the new commodities in an expanding market. Since the traditional method for propagation, directly from the bulky fruit, is usually labour-intensive, uneconomical and vulnerable to many diseases, tissue culture has become an important way of producing seedlings of “clones” with desirable traits. For the creation of such clone’s wild populations need to be sourced for their unique yield and disease and pest resistance traits, such unique germplasm then needs to be conserved and made available for selection and incorporation into new genetic lines, prior to rapid multiplication through clonal propagation. Tissue culture now provides pragmatic solutions with improving protocols now available for each of these steps. Protocols are available for (i) embryo isolation, culture and movement; (ii) clonal propagation via somatic embryogenesis for rapid multiplication and (iii) germplasm conservation via cryopreservation. Although routine embryo culture and cryopreservation are now possible, the lower than desired efficiency of conversion of somatic embryos to ex vitro seedlings still restrains the large-scale clonal propagation of coconut in many laboratories. Although the protocols of tissue culture for coconut have dramatically improved over the recent years, further improvement is desirable and their application to a wider range of germplasm needs to take place to boost their adoption for the breeding, conservation and rapid propagation of coconut.


Coconut, Cryopreservation, Embryo culture, Germplasm conservation, Somatic embryogenesis

Dr. Normansyah Syahruddin

Dr Normansyah Syahruddin completed Phd Programme on Economics and Management of Technology (2009 – 2012) from Faculty of Engineering Universita Degli Studi di Bergamo, Italy He worked as Deputy Director for Market Development of Estate Crops Products, Head of Section for International Market Development, Head of the Program Subdivision, Assistant to Deputy Director for Analyze and Export Development, , and International Market Analyst at Directorate General of Processing and Marketing of Agriculture Products His major participation in International Fora (as Delegate) includes the second International Tea Business Conference & 16th Session FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea, 2005, ASEAN National Focal Point Working Group on Coconut, 2017, Asia Pacific Coconut Community (not International Coconut Community) meeting, 2017, The 21st Session FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea, 2014, The Meetings of ASEAN National Focal Point Working Group on Tea and The ASEAN National Focal Point Working Group on Coffee, 2005 – 2013, The Meeting of International Sugar Organization (England), 2005, The Meetings of Bilateral Cooperation between Indonesia and Malaysia for Palm Oil, Cocoa, Pepper and Jathropa, 2006 – 2014

Major Five Publications

1. Causality Relationship between Renewable and Non-renewable Energy Consumption and GDP in Indonesia. Arifin, Jauhari and Syahruddin, Normansyah. Economic and Finance in Indonesia. Vol. 59 No. 1. pp 1-18. 2011

2. Sustainable Supply Chain Management in the Agricultural Sector: a Literature Review. Syahruddin, Normansyah and Kalchschmidt, Matteo. International Journal Engineering Management and Economics. Vol. 3 No. 3. pp 237 – 258. 2012

3. Traceability in the Cocoa Supply Chain: an Indonesian Context. Proceeding Paper. http://www.pomsmeetings.org/ConfProceedings/025/FullPapers/FullPaper_files/0250129.pdf. 2012

4. Syahruddin, Normansyah (2011): Towards traceability in cocoa - chocolate supply chain, MPRA Paper. https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/31247/ . 2011

5. Syahruddin, Normansyah, Kalchschmidt, Matteo, and Seuring, Stefan. A Critical Analysis of Supply Chain Integration In The Agro-Food Industry. Proceeding Paper. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/fe98/c0a9d62b91ce16691fd8d87953af451204bb.pdf . 2012

E-mail: norman.syahruddin@gmail.com



Normansyah Syahruddin
Ministry of Agriculture

Following the important issue raised on the World Council of Economic Development in 1987 on sustainability, many countries are pursuing to reach the excellence of sustainability related to know-how such as environmental issues, human resource management issues, quality management issues and many more. Even more, the concept of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been flourishing since early 2000’s and being adopted in many countries in the world. To some extent, agriculture sector became the sector that prioritizes for sustainable development of a country, mostly in developing countries. Indonesia, in particular, has been prioritizing the sustainable agriculture development, not only in food sufficiency but also renewable energy. Many of the agricultural commodities are being develop accordingly to fulfil the 3 P’s (people, planet, and profit) principles of sustainable development. Thus, to achieve that, the importance of sustainability in agricultural supply chain become relevant and considers being equal to any other supply chain in the world. While considering its importance to the economic development of a country, recent attention on product development of agricultural products as well as on farmers’ welfare have increasingly significant and become more and more important to the governmental policy direction. To date, more that 70% of the available land in Indonesia is used for agricultural activities with more than three-fourth of the population work in the agricultural sector, both direct and indirect employment. Agricultural industry itself, has multiple effects whereas amongst them, estate crops is contributing more to the national income compare to the food crops, horticulture and livestock sub sectors, in term of export revenue. Coconut, as one of the commodity in the estate crops sub sector, plays important role in the market of food products and become important sector for the national income of Indonesia. The industry itself employs millions of farmers and contributes significantly to eradicate poverty in Indonesia as well as providing employment from the downstream to the upstream of the industry. However, coconut industry in Indonesia faced several problem and challenges in the global market. Issues such as low productivity, market access and lack of derivative products are becoming the obstacles for coconut development in Indonesia. The Government of Indonesia has implemented policies and programmes to support the coconut development. Replanting, rejuvenation and research and ii development are amongst the priorities programmes for Indonesia to support the development of coconut products in Indonesia. Furthermore, joint collaboration with other countries and participations in various international event also foster in order to achieve sustained coconut development.


sustainable development, coconut, farmers, government policies

Dr. Priyanthie Fernando

Dr Priyanthie Fernando obtained PhD in Entomology from the University of Queensland, Australia Although her expertise is mainly on biological control of insect pests, her research interest in pest management has been varied. Her important achievements are development of a biological control method for the coconut mite (Aceria guerreronis) using an indigenous predatory mite, development of an electronic device for early detection of red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) and development of technologies using pheromone-baited traps for mass trapping and use of Oryctes virus for the management of Oryctes beetle in coconut plantations. Leadership given in development of management strategies for Weligama Coconut leaf Wilt Disease and involvement in its successful management is a noteworthy achievement. She was the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) consultant for the management of two alien pests in the Maldives and the Philippines. She published many research papers in international and local journals and was an invited speaker in many international forums.

Major Five Publications

1. Fernando, L.C.P. (2003). Experiences on the role of pheromones in pest management in palms. Journal of Plantation Crops. 31(2): 1-9.

2. Fernando, L.C.P., Waidyarathne, K.P., Perera, K.F.G., De Silva, P.H.P.R. (2010) Evidence for suppressing coconut mite, Aceria guerreronis by inundative release of the predatory mite, Neoseiulus baraki. Biological Control. 53:108-111.

3. Siriwardena, K.A.P., Fernando, L.C.P., Nanayakkara, N., Kumara, A.D.N.T. and Nanayakkara, T. (2010) Portable acoustic device for detection of coconut palms infested by Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Crop Protection 29: 25-29.

4. Fernando, L.C.P., Waidyarathne, K.P., Perera, K.F.G., De Silva, P.H.P.R. (2010) Evidence for suppressing coconut mite, Aceria guerreronis by inundative release of the predatory mite, Neoseiulus baraki. Biological Control. 53:108-111.

5. Fernando, L.C.P. and Wijeseakara, H.T.R., Adihetty, S. and Mahilal, R.A.P. (2013) Maintenance of the diseased area and prevention of spread. In Weligama Coconut leaf Wilt Disease. H.P.M Gunasena, H.A.J Gunathilaka, L.C.P. Fernando, J.M.D.T Everard and P.H.A.N. Appuhamy (2013) (Eds.), Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka. pp 71-74.

Email: priyanthiefernando@yahoo.co.uk


Management of Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease : Sri Lankan experience

L.C.P Fernando, P.H.P.R De Silva and H. T. R. Wijesekara
Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka

Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease (WCLWD) was first reported in 2006 from Weligama area in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. It was confirmed as caused by a phytoplasma through molecular diagnosis. The symptoms of the disease closely resemble that of Root Wilt Disease prevalent in India. Since the disease was first reported the Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka embarked on an extensive research and management programme to understand the disease and develop suitable management strategies to reduce disease incidence and its spread. Multi-disciplinary research studies determined the disease symptoms and its progression, diagnostic tools for the causal agent, disease epidemiology, possible vectors, physiological and anatomical effects on diseased palms, susceptibility of coconut cultivars to the disease and socio economic effects and development of resistant coconut cultivars to the disease. The initial symptom of flaccidity of leaflets is followed by yellowing and drying of leaf margins. Occasional necrosis of rachilla in unopened inflorescences and root tips are observed. The disease which is not fatal, but debilitating reduces the yield by over 40% in the advanced stage. The palms weakened by WCLWD are often prone to leaf rot disease caused by a complex of fungi. Proutista moesta, Proutista sp. and Stephanitis typica were identified as putative vectors of WCLWD. The disease causes significant reduction in number of leaves, stomatal conductance, transpiration, photosynthesis, chlorophyll content of leaves, inflorescence size and number of female flowers. The Sri Lankan Green Dwarf variety (SLGD) showed over 95% tolerance/ resistance to WCLWD. Hence a breeding programme was initiated to develop cultivars resistant/tolerant to WCLWD using SLGD as a parent. In 2007, nearly 340,000 disease palms have been reported over an area of 22,935ha in the three districts of the Southern Province. Disease management strategies were designed considering the incurable and slow spreading nature of the disease and practical, economic and social aspects. Hence, the aim was mainly to reduce the disease incidence in the affected areas and preventing the spread to other areas of the country. In the initial phase, from 2008-2010 removal of severely diseased palms, treatment of leaf rot affected palms with fungicides and adopting best agronomic practices for mild-moderately affected palms were recommended. To prevent spread of the disease to other areas a boundary zone of 3km wide was demarcated around and just outside the diseased area, which is 86km long. Removal of all diseased palms in the boundary by continuous monitoring, implementation of quarantine measures to prohibit transport of palm species out of disease area and production of coconut seedlings in affected areas were stopped to prevent spread of the disease. A review made in 2010 revealed that although no disease incidences were reported outside the diseased area the incidence and severity of the disease was increasing in affected areas despite the above-mentioned actions taken. Hence, a stringent management strategy was implemented from 2011 by removing all diseased palms irrespective of the disease severity. Up to end 2018 a total of 297,464 and 10,485 diseased palms have been removed in the diseased area and boundary zone respectively. A lesser number of palms were removed in the subsequent round of checking palms indicating removal of diseased palms reduces further disease incidences, except in the Hambantota district. Extensive awareness campaigns and involvement of local government officials have contributed in getting the support of coconut growers. Currently, the disease incidence has reduced to a low level and no incidences have been reported outside the diseased area pointing the success of the directions taken in the 10-year long disease management programme. The experience showed that WCLWD cannot be controlled in a shorter period and the current management strategies have a temporary effect. It is essential that management measures should be continued stringently for a longer period until a long-lasting measure is established. A mini seed garden has been established in the Weligama area to produce disease resistant coconut plants for the replanting programme to uplift and sustain the coconut industry in the Southern province.

Edna A Anit, PhD

Dr. Edna A. Anit completed her Doctoral Degree in Horticulture major in Seed Physiology/Botany and Master of Science in Horticulture major in Crop Seed Physiology/Plant Pathology at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

She worked with DOST-PCAARRD since 1987 and served as a Commodity Specialist/ Industry Strategic Program Manager for Coconut and Banana at the Crops Research Division.

Her expertise includes crop production management and research management on major horticultural commodities. She has participated in numerous international conferences and trainings such as International Training Workshop in Biase, Guangxi China; Applied Communication Expert in PCAARRD-RDA Collaborative Program in Korea; Country Representative in Banana Asia Pacific Network Meetings in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Taiwan; International Conference on Coconut Tissue Culture in Bangkok, Thailand; and International Symposium on Coconut Research and Development in Kerala, India among others and has written/co-authored published and unpublished technical papers.

She currently holds various positions in scientific organizations/societies such as Crops Science Society of the Philippines (President), Federation of Plant Science Associations of the Philippines (Vice-President), and DOST-PCAARRD Graduate Alumni Association (Auditor) to name a few.

Major Publications

R.V. EBORA, E.A. ANIT & K.J.B. PANALIGAN. 2019. Status Report on Fusarium Wilt Infecting Cavendish Banana. Paper presented during the BAPNET Steering Committee Meeting Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. May 7– 9, 2019

E.A. ANIT, R. V. EBORA, & C.A. CUETO, 2018. Coconut Somatic Embryogenesis Technology: Progress in The Philippines. Paper presented during the 11th PAPTCB Scientific Convention at Dauis, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines. July 9-14, 2018

E. A. ANIT & C. A. CUETO. 2017. Status of Coconut Tissue Culture in the Philippines. Paper presented during the 1st International Symposium on Coconut Tissue Culture at Ambassador Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand. March 13-14, 2017

E. A. ANIT, R. V. EBORA, & J. E. EUSEBIO. 2016. Role of PCAARRD in Strengthening Plant Tissue Culture Program. Paper presented during the 10th Scientific Convention of Philippine Association for Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology Incorporated at Plaza del Norte and Convention Center, City of Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. September 19-24, 2016

E-mail: ednaanit56@yahoo.com


Philippine Coconut Industry Strategic S & T Program

“Reinvigorating the Productivity of the Tree of Life”

Edna A. Anit, PhD

ISP Manager in Coconut, DOST-PCAARRD, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines

Coconut is considered as the Philippines’ top agricultural export, with US$1.8B generated revenue in 2017. It is planted in 68 provinces covering 26% of the country’s agricultural land. The coconut industry is the source of income of 3.5M farmers, providing important economic support to the rural communities. However, low productivity (46 nuts/palm/year) caused by old and senile palms is one of the challenges facing the industry. In addition, a significant number of damaged palms require immediate replanting due to the devastation of strong typhoons and coconut scale infestation in some parts of the country. The country is struggling to meet the increasing demand for coconut raw materials and high value products due to various factors affecting coconut production. The Coconut S&T Program of DOST-PCAARRD which aims to increase productivity (from 46 to 150 nuts/tree/year), increase farmers’ income and reduce pest infestation focuses on the improvement of production of coconut high value products, rapid production of quality planting materials using high yielding coconut varieties/hybrids, genomic-assisted breeding, and management control strategies against insect pests and diseases. From the previously developed hybrids/varieties by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), best cultivars were recommended for commercial sap sugar and virgin coconut oil (VCO) production. Four (4) hybrids (PCA 15-2, PCA 15-1, PCA 15-3, and PB 121) and 2 dwarf varieties (CATD and MRD) were recommended for coconut sugar production with high toddy yield and sap sugar production. Moreover, 5 hybrids (PCA 15-8, Syn Var, PCA 15-9, PCA 15-3, and PCA 15-2), 5 tall varieties (BAYT, SNRT, TAGT, BAOT, LAGT) and 1 dwarf variety with 5-7 L/palm oil yield were recommended for VCO production. To address the current problem on the availability of quality planting materials, DOST- PCAARRD together with its partners have identified varieties that are responsive to coconut somatic embryogenesis technology (CSet). Using the enhanced PCA-ARC CSet protocol, more than 106,675 plumules were excised and initiated for callus and somatic embryo formation. To date, a total of 3,428 regenerants are being maintained by the seven upgraded/equipped laboratories (PCA-ARC, PCA-ZRC, UPLB (2 laboratories), UPMin, BUCAF, and VSU). Genomic studies were undertaken towards genetic and varietal improvement of selected coconut varieties. Among the assembled genome and transcriptome sequences, two (2) varieties - Laguna Tall (LAGT) and Catigan Green Dwarf (CATD) are already deposited at the National Center for Biotechnology Center (NCBI). Several gene markers were designed for high yield and quality copra-oil and by-products, and insect resistance. On the management of major pests for coconut, protocols for both coconut scale insects (CSI) and Brontispa sp. have been developed which include establishment of indoor and outdoor mass rearing facilities for predators/parasitoids; optimized mass production and field release protocols of CSI biological control agents; and, improved four (4) laboratories for mass production of biological control agents against CSI. Such strategies are now being implemented to control the recent CSI outbreak in Zamboanga which shows tremendous improvement as associated with the high parasitization of Comperiella calauanica on the infested coconut trees.

Dr. Qiuyu Xia

Qiuyu Xia is the director of product research and development center for CRI-CATAS. Dr. Xia obtained his Ph.D.in Biology & Chemistry from Deakin University in Australia at 2018, his thesis focuses on the preparation and stabilisation of omega-3 concentrates. Dr. Xia has approximately 20 peer-reviewed publications and several patents. His research interests include lipid chemistry, natural products chemistry, food biotechnology and omega- 3 oil technology, his current research is primarily in the processing technology and characterization of virgin coconut oil and its industrial production.


(1) Qiuyu Xia, Taiwo O. Akanbi, Rui Li, Bo Wang, Wenrong Yang, Colin J. Barrow. Lipase-catalysed synthesis of palm oil-omega-3 structured lipids, Food & Function, 10 (2019) 3142-3149.

(2) Qiuyu Xia, Taiwo O. Akanbi, Bo Wang, Rui Li, Wenrong Yang, Colin J. Barrow. Investigating the Mechanism for the Enhanced Oxidation Stability of Microencapsulated Omega-3 Concentrates. Marine Drugs. 2019; 17(3):143.

(3) Qiuyu Xia, Bo Wang, Taiwo Akanbi, Rui Li, Wenrong Yang, Benu Adhikari, Colin J Barrow. Microencapsulation of lipase produced omega-3 concentrates resulted in complex coacervates with unexpectedly high oxidative stability, Journal of functional foods. 2017, 35:499-506.

(4) Minmin Tang, Qiuyu Xia, Brendan J. Holland, Hui Wang, Yufeng Zhang, Rui Li, Hongxing Cao. Effects of Different Pretreatments to Fresh Fruit on Chemical and Thermal Characteristics of Crude Palm Oil. Journal of food science, 2017, 82(12), 2857-2863.

(5) Qiuyu Xia, Rui Li, Tang Minmin, Weijun Chen, Songlin Zhao. Components of Natural Coconut Oil and its Influences on Oxidation Stability of Peanut Oil, Journal of the Chinese Cereals and Oils Association, 2012, 27(9):64-66.

(6) Qiuyu Xia, Rui Li, Songlin Zhao, Weijun Chen, Hua Chen, Bo Xin, Yulin Huang. Chemical composition changes of post-harvest coconut inflorescence sap during natural fermentation. African Journal of Biotechnology, 2011, 10(66):14999-15005.


Sustainable development of coconut processing industry of China

Qiuyu Xia, Yufeng Zhang, RuiLi, Songlin Zhao
Coconut Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences,
Wenchang, Hainan, 571339, China

Abstract: Coconut palm is a perennial tropical economic oil crop, the economic benefit of coconut comprehensive utilization is very high. Every part of coconut is useful in one way or another, coconut meat, coconut water, coconut husk, coconut shell, coconut wood and coconut root can all be processed into relevant coconut products. Coconut producing area and yield in Hainan accounts for 90% total coconut producing area and yield in China. Hainan has been growing coconuts for more than 2,000 years. China has a comprehensive coconut processing industry chain, basically realizing the zero waste of coconut. The processing products include more than 200 types, such as coconut juice, coconut sugar, coconut powder, Nata de Coco, coconut shell activated carbon, coconut palm mattress, coconut bran cultivation media, etc., with an output value of more than 20 billion (RMB). However, there are great challenges of coconut processing industry in China. Coconut raw materials are in short supply and import dependence is high, more processing enterprises, less leading enterprises and coconut products are highly homogeneous, low price competition is serious. So, it needs initiatives of coconut industry in China. We need to coordinate coconut planting and purchasing to ensure raw material supply, establish a product standardization system to ensure the orderly development of the industry, and the industry interaction needs to take intensive and branding development road, and to form combine production, study and research to form a new pattern of product differentiation competition.

1. Comprehensive processing and utilization of coconut

Coconut palm is a perennial tropical economic oil crop, which is also the typical woody oil crop and energy crop in tropical area. Coconut palm is a unique tree and has the reputation of "life tree","jewel tree". The economic benefit of coconut comprehensive utilization is very high. Coconut plays a key role in the economy of tropical area and is regarded as an important way of helping people to intake protein, fat and energy, helping the farmer to work and get rid of poverty by FAO. Every part of coconut is useful in one way or another, coconut meat, coconut water, coconut husk, coconut shell, coconut wood and coconut root can all be processed into relevant coconut products. The figure 1 indicates the comprehensive usage of coconut. From the figure we can see that the usage of coconut meat is most wide, which can be made into coconut oil, coconut milk, desiccated coconut, dietary fibre, extracting coconut protein, etc. In the main production region of coconut, the coconut water is abandoned, the coconut husk and shell are burned. But in China, the coconut water is made into Nata de Coco, and form a large industry; the coconut husk is made into coconut fibre and cultivate medium, the coconut shell is processed into active carbon. The wood and leaf can be made into artwares, the wood can also be used to build house. The wood is a kind of medicine. The coconut inflorescence sap is a unique tourism product in Hainan, China. So, the comprehensive utilization of coconut is very high and any other crop can not compared with it.

2. Coconut planting distribution in China

In China, more than 90 % coconut palms grow in Hainan province. For a long time, coconut has become the symbol, and also the characteristic tourism product of Hainan province. There are also planting of coconut in Yunnan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Taiwan. Coconut planting in Hainan mainly locates in eastern coast. l. coconut is mainly distributed in Wenchang city, the area is 34% of the total planting area in Hainan province. Hence, Wenchang has the reputation of "coconut hometown". Next is Qionghai city, the proportion is 15%. In Lingshui, Sanya, Haikou, there are also a small quantity of coconut. 2016, China's coconut harvest area is 321,000 hectares, the output is 307,700 tons;It accounts for 0.27% and 0.51% of the world’s total harvest area and output respectively. Hainan has been growing coconuts for more than 2,000 years, the main species is called Local Tall species, supplemented by Wenye 2, 3, 4 and 78 F1 varieties. Over the past five years, the total coconut production of Hainan has remained at more than 220 million.

3. Opportunities of coconut industry in China

China has a comprehensive coconut processing industry chain, basically realizing the zero waste of coconut. The processing products include more than 200 types, such as coconut juice, coconut sugar, coconut powder, Nata de Coco, coconut shell activated carbon, coconut palm mattress, coconut bran cultivation media, etc., with an output value of more than 20 billion (RMB). Well-known enterprises and brand emerged, such as Yeshu, Chunguang, Nanguo, Xingguang, et al. Various coconut products are becoming more and more popular. There are more than 10,000 coconut processing and trading companies worldwide. There are more than 360 kinds of coconut products, including food, medicine and chemical industry. The main trade products are still copra, coconut oil, coconut meal and coconut paste. Other coconut products are also booming: coconut water sales rose by 64% and coconut oil by 122% in the year to March 2016. In company, according to a market report (IRI) of 2012-2016, the United States and Europe of tropical fruit beverage consumption rose by 18%, among them, the coconut beverages market share as high as 23%, was next only to banana (24%). The report (IRI) also noted that coconut flavored bottled water in Europe and the US increased 533% in 2016 (compared with 2011), much faster than other flavor products such as guava and mango.

Due to increasing demands of nutrition and health, plant-based protein drinks have grown at an average annual rate of 28 % over the past five years in China, making them the fastest-growing sub-sector of beverages. Currently, the vegetable protein beverage market is about $30 billion, and annual growth is 7%. Companies have predicted that China's vegetable protein beverage market scale will continue to grow. From 2012 to 2016, the overall growth rate of China's vegetable protein beverage market was 6.3%, of which walnut beverage and peanut beverage grew significantly. From the end of 2016 to 2017, the consumption growth rate dropped significantly. Coconut juice beverage market share is China's second largest vegetable protein beverage consumption category, market share of 21.6% in 2015, but from the end of 2016 to 2017, the consumption growth rate dropped significantly.

"Environmental protection" is one of the focuses of the Chinese Government. So, the development of environmental protection material, such as coconut shell activated carbon will have great opportunity. From 2016 to 2017, China's annual production of activated carbon reached more than 500,000 tons, and its export volume reached more than 210,000 tons. It has surpassed the United States, Russia and Japan, ranking the first in the world. The main producers of coconut shell activated carbon are still in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. It is predicted that in the next 10-20 years, the demand of coconut shell activated carbon in the field of environmental protection in China alone will be more than 100,000-120,000 tons per year, and the demand of medicine, food and chemical industry will be greater. China's coconut shell resources mostly distribute in Hainan, and the production capacity is far from meeting the market demand.

4. Challenges of coconut processing industry in China

Coconut raw materials are in short supply and import dependence is high. Hainan produces more than 90% of the country's total coconut production, and its planting area is only about 30,200 ha, with an annual output of more than 220 million coconut fruits. Over 1.5 billion coconuts are imported from southeast Asian countries every year, and the import dependence is over 90%. In order to support the development of its domestic coconut processing industry, some countries may not satisfy the demands of the export of coconut fruit.

5. Initiatives of Coconut industry in china
(1) Coordinate coconut planting and purchasing to ensure raw material supply

Good breeding and promotion of good seedlings: To develop new varieties of coconut with high quality, high yield and strong resistance, and to conduct demonstration and promotion jointly with the government. Government and enterprises work together to build a green channel for coconut import: Signing supply and marketing agreements with southeast Asia’s leading coconut producers or establishing coconut trading and storage and transportation bases, establishing green channels for raw materials import. Encourage coconut processing companies to “go out”. Because Hainan has limited arable land available for coconut cultivation, it is necessary that encouraging enterprises to carry out preliminary processing of raw materials in major coconut production areas and serving the national “One Belt And One Road” strategy.

(2) Establish a product standardization system to ensure the orderly development of the industry

Actively promoting the revision of existing standards and the formulation of new product standards and developing fast detection technology and intelligent equipment to ensure product quality.

(3) Industry interaction, take intensive and branding development road

Establish coconut industry association or alliance with leading enterprises; Hold regular meetings on the exchange of enterprise experience and industry problems; We will encourage small and micro businesses to phase out old technologies and equipment and continue to expand and strengthen them.

(4) Combine production, study and research to form a new pattern of product differentiation competition

Taking the government as the bridge to form the interaction mechanism between research institutes and enterprises. Market-oriented development of new differentiated products.

Sentoor Kumeran Govindasamy

Joined Malaysia Agricultural Research and Development Institute as Research Officer in 2004 in Hq in Serdang working on Herbs and coconut. Fully attached to coconut research starting 2010 stationed in MARDI Bagan Datuk which is a coconut research station in Malaysia. Actively involved in coconut breeding especially in producing hybrids and inbreds for farmers in Malaysia. Born in Perak a northern state in Malaysia, now married with two children.


Policies and Programmes for Sustained Development in the Coconut Sector in Malaysia

Sentoor Kumeran Govindasamy
Industrial Crop Program, Crops and Soil Science Research Center, MARDI Bagan Datuk, 36300, Sungai Sumun, Perak

Coconut or scientifically known as Cocos nucifera is also known as tree of life as almost all the tree parts can be used for food and other non-food purposes. It is the fourth most cultivated and important crop after oil palm, rubber and rice in Malaysia. However, the planting area of coconut in Malaysia has been dwindling steadily over the years due to conversion of existing planting area to other planting crops such oil palm, vegetables and cash crops. Many coconut planting areas also have been converted to residential and industrial sites thus eventually reduce the national coconut productivity. Hence, the country’s coconut import has increased from 87.8 million nuts in 2014 to 120.2 million nuts in 2015. The major usage of coconut in Malaysia mainly due to high demand for industrial use compared to fresh use by consumer. Malaysia produces many coconut products namely UHT coconut milk, coconut powder, desiccated coconut and virgin coconut oil. The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry (MOA) together with Department of Agriculture of Malaysia (DOA) had undertaken many initiatives and policies in recent years to develop a resilient and sustainable coconut industry in Malaysia. Among them, introduction of the New Wealth Source Programme with coconut as one of the crop identified as profitable crop for farmers, replanting of old and senile coconut trees programme, national seedlings production programme and planting incentive programme in order to increase national coconut production in the country.

Dr. (Mrs) Vijitha R M Vidhanaarachchi

Organisation: Coconut Research Institute, Sri Lanka

Academic qualifications:

PhD (Agricultural Science) Graduation: March 2005 from University of Kagoshima, Japan
MSc (Agricultural Science) Graduation: March 2002 from University of the Ryukyus, Japan
B.Sc. (Agriculture) Graduation: January 1990 from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Working Experience:

Tissue culture of coconut using different explants like leaf, immature embryo, plumule, immature inflorescence and unfertilized ovary. Development of a reliable protocol for producing true to type clonal plants using unfertilized ovary culture. Acclimatization and field evaluation of clonal coconut. Embryo culture for embryo rescue of non-germinating coconut varieties, international germplasm exchange and cryopreservation of plumules. Haploid culture of coconut trough anther culture to regenerate homozygous lines.
Commercial application of micropropagation techniques to mass propagate banana and ornamental plants Use of biochemical and molecular markers to evaluate genetic variation of forest trees Twenty-one publications including eight full papers in refereed journals

Positions held:

Research officer, Senior Research Officer, Head/ Tissue Culture Division, Coconut Research Institute (1992- to date)


Success in Coconut Tissue Culture in Sri Lanka

V R M Vidhanaarachchi
Tissue Culture Division
Coconut Research Institute Sri Lanka

Being an out-breeding crop, commercially grown tall coconut cultivars are highly heterozygous. This is a barrier for improving the desired characters like higher yield, disease resistance, etc. by conventional breeding, leaving in vitro vegetative propagation as the only tool for crop improvement on a large scale. Even though, coconut is one of the most recalcitrant species to regenerate in vitro considerable success has been achieved in the last decade. The newel explant described by Coconut Research Institute Sri Lanka (CRISL), unfertilized ovary, is identified as an ideal explant for somatic embryogenesis of heterozygous tall coconut varieties due to its vegetative nature and high regeneration potential. A protocol was developed for consistent plant regeneration by optimizing in vitro conditions for callus initiation, callus multiplication, somatic embryogenesis, shoot initiation, shoot growth, rooting and ex vitro conditions for plant acclimatization. Genetic fidelity of tissue cultured coconut plants derived from unfertilized ovaries was confirmed. Clonal plants of elite hybrid mother palms are now being produced and issued to growers for field planting.

The coconut palm is an important cash crop in the sub-tropical countries which provides some of the basic necessities of life to the mankind. The palm not only provides a source of food and water but is also used for shelter, fuel and raw materials. Therefore, it is a versatile crop and every part of the tree has some use. In Sri Lanka, coconut is predominantly a smallholder crop of which extents below 8 ha occupying 75% of the land cultivated with coconut and the balance 25% constitutes privately or government owned estates. Therefore, it is considered as a plantation as well as a social crop in Sri Lanka. Coconut is a major constituent of Sri Lankan food providing 15% calories, 70% fat and 5% protein. More than 70% of the total nut production in Sri Lanka is consumed locally for domestic uses which makes shortage of nuts to industries in lean production months.
Genetic improvement for increased productivity is a prioritized research area of coconut palm. Unlike in other plantation crops, it does not have any means of vegetative propagation thus propagated only through seed nuts. Since commercially grown tall palm are predominantly cross pollinating, great variation is observed in selected characters when propagated through seeds. In vitro cloning of elite palms via somatic embryogenesis seems to be a promising method for propagation due to its potential for massive multiplication.
Even though, coconut is one of the most recalcitrant species for in vitro regeneration considerable progress has been achieved in the last two-decade using explants such as immature zygotic embryo (Karunaratne and Periyapperuma, 1989; Fernando and Gamage 2000), plumule (Hornung, 1995; Chan et al., 1998; Fernando et al., 2003; Perez- Nunez et al., 2006) and unfertilized ovary (Perera et al., 2007; Perera et al. 2009 and Vidhanaarachchi et al., 2013). The most responsive tissue reported among the explants is plumule (Perez- Nunez et al., 2006), a zygotic tissue and used to multiply lethal yellowing resistant dwarf varieties of coconut. Unfertilized ovary is identified as an ideal explant for somatic embryogenesis of coconut in recent past due to its somatic nature and non-destructive method of explant collection (Perera et al., 2007) Therefore, it can be considered as the best candidate tissue for cloning tall coconut varieties.
Based on the Sri Lankan experience, this paper summarizes the notable achievements towards developing a reliable protocol for clonal propagation of coconut. In order to collect the explant, the unfertilized ovary, immature inflorescence at the maturity stage -4 (inflorescence to be opened in 4 months-time) is obtained by climbing to the crown of a selected palm. The removal of -4 inflorescence causes minimal damage to the mother palm which also facilitates repeated collection of explant from the same mother palm after 9-12 months. The ovaries are dissected from female flowers present at the basal portions of individual rachilla under aseptic conditions. The dissected ovaries are crushed with a scalpel and cultured in Medium 72 (Karunaratne and Periyapperuma, 1989) basal formulation supplemented with 160 µM 2,4-dichloro phenoxy acetic acid (2,4-D), 9 µM Thiadizuron (TDZ), 0.1% activated coconut shell charcoal (Heycarb), 4% sucrose and solidified with 0.25% phytagel (callogenesis medium).
Initiation of embryogenic calli could observed within 6-8 weeks. Callus multiplication is achieved by carefully dissecting the fully developed embryogenic calli and sub-culturing embryogenic structures in to the same media for 3 cycles according to Perez- Nunez et al., (2006). Limited number of female flowers (about 30 in average) in one inflorescence which limits large scale culturing could be overcome by callus multiplication phase to produce higher number of plants. Multiplication of callus at very high levels (73 times) has achieved with some individual palms (Vidhanaarachchi and Bandupriya, 2015).
To induce somatic embryogenesis, embryogenic structures (which are dissected from calli after multiplication), are subcultured in to callogenesis medium with reduced 2,4-D content (90 µM 2,4- -D) and 2.7 mg/l glutamine. Then the cultures are transferred to growth hormone free solid medium for somatic embryo maturation. Germination of somatic embryos is achieved in above somatic embryo maturation medium with 20 µM benzyl amino purine (BAP). For shoot elongation cultures with germinating somatic embryos are transferred in to somatic embryo maturation medium with 0.46 µM Gibberellic acid. Rooting of elongated shoots and further growth of shoots in Eeuwens Y3 (Eeuwens, 1976) liquid medium for few months result plants with 3-4 photosynthetic leaves with good root volume which is ready to acclimatize. Clonal plants are raised for about 18 months in plant house with controlled environmental conditions to acclimatize for field planting.
The above protocol is currently being used to produce clonal plants at tissue culture division of CRISL. The first batches of plants were planted at research fields of the Bandirippuwa estate of the CRISL for field evaluation. Subsequently clonal plants of Tall X SanRamon hybrid were issued to selected growers to establish one acer fields for evaluation trials.
Variable response of individual palms (genotypes) to in vitro conditions was evident in these studies. Therefore, attempts were taken to identify a pool of elite mother palms which are responsive to in vitro conditions. More than 15 mother palms of Tall x SanRamon and Dwarf Green x Tall were identified so far. Clonal plant regeneration from one inflorescence still remains at 300 – 400 plants per inflorescence (Vidhanaarachchi and Bandupriya, 2015) which needs further improvement.
Confirmation of the true to type nature of clones derived from ovary culture with the donor palm and within the progeny is very essential when developing a commercial protocol. Using 13 SSR markers Iroshini et al. (2014) reported the true-to-type conformity of tissue cultured coconut plants derived from unfertilized ovaries not only among the progeny but also with the mother palm and ensures the feasibility of the developed protocol for large scale plant production.
Growth rate of in vitro plants still remain very slow taking at least 20 - 26 months for a plant to grow up to acclimatization stage and this implies a necessity of well-planned programme in commercial application of this technology. In addition, acclimatization of clonal plants to normal environmental conditions needs some improvements to increase success rate which at present is around 85%.


The authors wish to thank all the past and present research and supporting staff of the Tissue Culture Division and the management of the of CRISL.


Chan, J.L., Saenz, L., Talavera, C., Hornung, R., Robert, M., Oropeza, C. (1998). Regeneration of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) from plumule explants through somatic embryogenesis. Plant Cell Reports 17, 515-521.
Eeuwens, C.J. (1976). Mineral requirements for growth and callus initiation of tissue explants excised from mature coconut palms (Cocos nucifera L.) and cultured in vitro. Physiologia Plantarum 36: 23-28
Fernando, S.C., Gamage C.K.A. (2000). Abscisic acid induced somatic embryogenesis in immature embryo explants of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.). Plant science 151, 193-198.
Fernando, S.C., Verdeil J-L, Hocher, V. Weerakoon, L.K., Hiriburegama, K. (2003). Histological analysis of plant regeneration from plumule explants of Cocos nucifera L. Plant Cell Tissue & Organ Culture 72, 281-284.
Hornung, R., (1995). Initiation of callogenesis in coconut palm (Cocos nucifera L.) In Oropeza, C., Howard, F.W., Ashburner G.R. (eds) Lethal yellowing:research and practical aspects. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 203-215.
Iroshini, W.W.M.A., Bandupriya, H.D.D., Perera, S.A.C.N., Dissanayake, P.K. (2014) True-to-type conformity of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) plants regenerated through somatic embryogenesis. Proceedings of Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, p. 70.
Karunaratne, S., Periyapperuma, K. (1989). Culture of immature embryos of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.). Callus proliferation and somatic embryogenesis. Plant Science. 62, 247-253.
Perera, P.I.P., Hocher, V., Verdeil, J.L., Doulbeau S., Yakandawala, D.M.D., Weerakoon, L.K. (2007). Unfertilized ovary, a novel explant for coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) somatic embryogenesis. Plant Cell Reports, 26, 21-28.
Perera, P.I.P., Vidhanaarachchi, V.R.M., Gunathilake, T.R., Yakandawala, D.M.D., Hocher, V., Verdeil, J.L., Weerakoon L.K. (2009). Effect of plant growth regulators on ovary culture of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture 99, 71-83.
Perez-Nunez, M.T., Chan, J.L., Saenz, L., Gonzalez, T., Verdeil, J.L., Oropeza, C. (2006). Improved somatic embryogenesis from Cocos nucifera (L.) plumule explants. In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology-Plant 42, 37-43.
Vidhanaarachchi, V.R.M., Fernando, S.C., Perera, P.I.P., Weerakoon, L.K. (2013). Application of un-fertilized ovary culture to identify elite mother palms of Cocos nucifera L. with regenerative potential. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka. 41 (1), 29-34.
Vidhanaarachchi, V.R.M., Bandupriya, H.D.D. (2015). Summary Annual Report of Coconut Research Institute.

Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh


Bachelor of Russian Linguistics and Literature

Bachelor of Oriental Studies.

Professional Experience:

Joining the army in 1969, Military Zone 7.

In 2003, awarded the second prize in the Creative Faculty of Ho Chi Minh City. With the solution- applied material of the coconut shell, for the construction materials and interior decoration.

2004 won the consolation prize for creative science in HCMC Solution: Art page made from coconut skull peeled each layer.

Participate in many national and international seminars on History, Culture, Tourism.

In 2014 co-organized the International Science Conference with the University of Social Sciences and Humanities: Vietnam Coconut Tree, value and potential development

Study the similarities in coconut development with humans.

The author of the first Ben Tre Coconut Festival 2009



Being a new & young branch of economy, the Trade has been developing in a market economy for less than 10 years. With an area of approximately 150 thousand hectares, coconut tree, one of the long-term industrial trees, is planted in an area ranked the fourth largest in Vietnam, just behind rubber tree, coffee, and cashew. However, due to the old habit of thousands of generations, coconut trees in Vietnam have never been grown in an organized plantation or a farm ranch as other industrial trees. Coconut trees, despite of their abundant usages, mostly are planted around the houses, or along side of bayous or creeks, for shade, or holding the soil together, or saving the land for growing other trees. Therefore, coconut trees have been a part of the Vietnamese daily life, from their diet to the image of the homeland or through the images of hard & thrifty laborers in harvesting coconut, handcrafting, and retailers in small markets from countryside to the urban areas.

After the year of 1992, especially, with the opening to the world market & the development of an market economy, many Vietnamese businesses, with activeness and confidence, have gradually been approaching the world market by introducing their simple products, such as handicraft products from coconut trees, purified coconut oil, coconut flesh, coconut charcoal, coconut threads,….Today, coconut products have become richly various. Carpets made from coconut trees, pure coconut oil, dried coconut flesh, coconut juice, and so on have been present at markets almost all over the world. With the development and advancement in medicine & technology, the values of a coconut tree have been raised by the diversity of coconut products. As a result, the coconut industry in Vietnam has also been focused on & developing; and it is one of the economy branches chosen by the Department of Agriculture in Vietnam to be developed into a spearhead of the economy.

In a never-ending effort, units of Vietnamese coconut trade are making more and more coconut products serving various purposes. For example, besides the traditional coconut candy, Ben Tre Province also has many business units that are producing high end products: coconut milk, fresh canned coconut juice, coconut milk powder, purified coconut oil (VCO), or products bearing traits of breaking in invention, such as coconut gel mask, a product being in the center of consumers’ attention.

Even so, Vietnam hardly overlooks at all the benefits of coconut trees under a current extreme change of the climate and weather. Coconut tree, therefore, is chosen to be the alternate tree to grow.

We have researched in the absorption of carbon in the surrounding air of coconut trees in Vietnam; and the result is quite interesting. In Ben Tre Province, 1 hectare of coconut trees will absorb from 70 – 75 tons of CO2 every year. Besides, coconut trees in Vietnam also are of a tremendous value in our culture, just like in other coconut- growing countries. In addition, the historical value from coconut trees in Vietnam is unique, and none of the other countries is of. It’s about the historical battles in the war in Vietnam, such as in the cases of : just one grenade and on flag to bring down a helicopter, just one coconut raft used to destroy a bridge on a critical transportation route of the enemy, or just with some torches made from coconut leaves used to force the enemy into surrendering, and so on and so on. Many of those stories are true but seem like legends. Vietnamese tourism is still fumbling in its exploitation of those and making them become attractive products to tourists. As a result, knowing how to exploit the historical stories, regional cuisine, and skilled trade villages, and turning them into profitable products for the Vietnamese tourism will render the Vietnamese coconut trade an additional strength for its firm and steady growth.


It’s about the tradition of growing coconut trees around the houses for the Vietnamese daily uses. It would have been insufficient if I tried to list all the values of coconut trees in Vietnamese cultural & spiritual life within this article. However, with serious enough research and an appropriate exploitation means, this treasure will contribute to a long-term development of the trade, for it bears a huge cultural value

Coconut Trade in Vietnam – A Young Branch of the Economy:

Modern equipment with leading technology

Multitudinous products, especially the cosmetic products for skin care

Stable product quality

Suitable for the competition between countries in the region

Vietnam Tourism linked to Coconut Trade -

Gradually forming an ecosystem tourism & a tourism adhering to travel gifts made of coconut trees.

What Is a Sustainable Growth:

Sustainability is understood as a long-term stability. Growing sustainably is a continuous developing with a long-term stability. In order to have a sustainable growth in a trade or a branch of an economy, it is mandatory to be of a long-term & consistent strategy based on practical terms, guide lines, and appropriate policies. Besides those, we must not overlook the researches & preservation efforts. Researching is not only simply the studies from Agriculture Engineers about the coconut species that yield high production & high adaptive, but also the creating more and more diverse products for the consumers and analyzing the strength & weakness of the trade for future growth.

There is a very important factor in developing a product in a market. It’s the search for the design & the look of the product package. Besides the product quality, the package design also expresses the grade of a product & its market. By the look of the package, one could tell about the view & strategy of a business. For the demonstration purpose, let’s have a look at some of the designs from each of the following business:

Besides the above-mentioned factors, in my personal point of view, I would seriously focus on the researches and the preservation of the culture and would use them as basis for stories about the trade. That is also the reason why in the year of 2014, The Vietnamese Association of Coconut Trade held an international seminar with the theme: “The Coconut Trees in Vietnam – Its Values & Potential”, in which the cultural & historical values of the coconut tree were specially mentioned to promote its unseen values in Vietnam. Scientific technologies are displayed for sale at many specialty festivals Cocotech held by the APCC (Asian Pacific Coconut Community) once every two years.

The product quality is more and more standardized to the organic standards in order to protect consumers’ health. This leads to a tougher competition in the trading environment. However, the cultural factors are unique from country to county. Knowing how to blend the cultural factor into the trading, our products will certainly gain much more love & trust from the consumers. At the same time, the product value will also be raised to another level, for the consumers always desire to express their class by choosing the suitable level of product value & quality. Even though our coconut products cannot be compared to the luxury cars, like Audi, Lexus, BMW…or other brand name electronics, such as ones of Apple, Samsung, HTC, we can embed in our products many stories about the culture, the nutritional benefits, health benefits, … Those would make the consumers feel being elevated to his or her level of understanding about a culture, and his or her health benefits and safety.

The Factors Contributing to the Firmness:

1. The role of an Association

Coconut trees are traditional industrial trees with a diverse product line, but they have had little attention to be considered large enough for the formation of an Association. The Vietnamese Coconut Trade Association is formed for the missions: bridging the farmers to the traders & the scientists in order to raise the standard living of the coconut farmers & workers, to promote the values of coconut trees, and to encourage and stimulate the growth of the business in coconut trade. Vietnamese Coconut Trade Association need to seek the cooperation between the locals or regions and business in order to discuss, analyze, and find out the solutions for any obstacle, and to promote the advantages. Once the practical benefits and developing potential of coconut trees are pointed out, we can present to the Governmental Branches a strategic development plan for Coconut Trees. Thus, we could gain some support from the governmental policies in term of making coconut trade become a growing branch of economy because of its capabilities and diversity in its products.

2. National Policies:

This is an extremely important factor. In any country, the market seems spontaneously developed at first. However, up to certain point of the development, all economy branches will eventually need to have the supports from governmental policies, such as: promoting the trade, developing a market, researching & studying a specific line of product, tax & credit assistance policies, …For example, products made from recycled coconut tree parts, such as the husk and the shell, Revenue Tax Entities should have had an itemized form for the people to filled out. In reality, those are solids recycled for research purposes and developing new product lines in the future. The government already had policies to assist the researches on developing technology. Yet, tax exemption & financial assistance are still needed. For example, in producing charcoal from coconut shells, certain governmental bodies should have had some scientific studies to reduce the environmental contamination and to exploit the energy from heat released from the burning process for use in another industry.

The Vietnamese Association for Coconut Trade should initiate the activities to collect polls from direct manufacturing units, retail shops, and the local regions in order to advise on & propose guidelines, policies, & strategies to the government bodies in term of promoting a firm & steady growth in Coconut Trade.

3. Building Supply Regions:

There is none of the economy branches that can grow in a long-term without supply, and Coconut Trade is not an exemption of such a rule. Science & Technology is more and more developing, and human living environment is also increasingly harmed. In addition, with more advancements in Biotechnology, more species have been produced through studies & researches in gene mutation, in order to improve productivity from trees & farm raised animals, despite of the harm to consumers’ health. Therefore, in developing countries, the demand for organic products has gained more and more attention. Besides, it has been proved in medical studies of the coconut products, especially coconut milk and coconut oil, about the effects on the ability to improve human body immune system, detoxication, repairing damaged cells, stimulating the hair growth, rejuvenating the skin, reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering the bad cholesterol. It is, thus, why the demand in usage of coconut products has gained more and more attention from consumers all over the world. Building strategic supply regions is very crucial. However, being in control of the supply for the whole coconut industry in Vietnam is not simple at all. It requires specific strategy for each individual stage of the process. The agricultural areas as well as the areas for the protective forest have been long planned in detail for growing certain types of trees or raising certain kinds of animals, while the Coconut Trade in Vietnam is still very young and not developed uniformly. Building a stable supply source, in fact, warrants a steady income source for the coconut farmers and a peace of mind for the investors in developing the trade. Why did Sri Lanca investment into factories in Ben Tre a fail? This is a bloody valuable lesson for us in the recognizing how important a supply region would be. A supply region is the factor of surviving & growing of a business. Therefore, investors are required of a much greater view, which is the coordinating the local government and the farmers in the region together in a common investment in coconut trees toward their own development scale.

4. Orientating the direction of the product line:

Why should the orientating the direction of a product line be one of the most important aspects for a sustainable development? In my personal experience of studying the development of a product, it is the deciding which direction of one’s product line would head to, in order to form a suitable strategy from the beginning. For example, in my study about coconut shell, I planned my products toward Interior Design section, and dissected the market of my main product line to guide the development plan of that section. My start-out steps were extremely difficult, for I must search for the best manufacturing process, at the same time, to research and create suitable equipment & machines to the manufacturing process, in order to make products possessing quality luxury enough to be introduced into 5-star hotels. Once the orientation of the product line established, one would have to dissect its market to gain a development strategy for its growth. If you want to be with the growing tide, you are better off when limiting the low end or cheaper products, for the demand in our society is heading toward a perfection in quality, design, social status of a product.

5. Business View for the Future:

Besides the decisive factors contributing a steady growth, business view is also extremely important. It is the kind of view that decides the whole path & the product line of a business. Each business establishes its foothold by its unique & main product line. However, it is not certain that good product only would decide a good market for it. In order to have a healthy market, one needs to possess a plan or strategy for the development of the product. One of the most important elements of such development is Marketing. Why did Unilever succeed in Vietnam in products, such as: seasonings, drinks, detergents with milk ingredient? It is because they have their own business view, knowing how to exploit their already brand name products, and to have a strategy for a successful advertising campaign of the products.

6. Media Roles:

Media plays a crucial role in a long-term development of a product because, through the media, consumers know about & learn more information of a product, and that would give them chance to compare & choose between similar products on the market. For example, in order to change consumers’ habit of drinking carbonated drinks, and replacing them by drinking coconut juice, the media will be responsible for spreading out and explaining the benefits of the fresh coconut juice to consumers’ health, and most of all, fresh coconut juice is the number one organic product in food hygiene & safety.

D. Conclusion:

In order to become a firmly growing branch of economy, it’s mandatory to possess a strategic view for the future trade, and to have a tight coordination between the businesses and the governmental branches, as well as to make a development plan for each specific stage in the future. (Madam Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh - President - Vietnamese Association of Coconut Trade)


Former Expert in Horticulture, Department of Agriculture.
Vice Chairman of Conservation and Development of Coconut Oil of Thailand Forum

Work experience :

1. Expert in Horticulture (Coconut coffee and cocoa)
2. Post harvest and processing specialist in Coconut, coffee and cocoa.
3. Deputy coordinator of Improvement of Coffee Quality and OTA prevention of Robusta coffee Project under TCP/THA/3002(A), 2 years( 2005-2006)
4. Project Leader of Thailand in COGENT/IPGR, 3 years.
5. Presented country report on Coffee &Tea ASEAN Working Group meeting during 2007-2011.
6. Presented country report on ASEAN Cocoa Club meeting 2011 .
7. Presented country report on APCC Session meeting , 2011.
8. Resource speaker of Coconut processing and utilization , COCOTECH meeting , Sri Lanka
9. Resource speaker of Coconut processing and utilization, Summit Coconut Seminar, India.
10. Secretary of International Seminar on Medicinal and aromatics plants ,Tropical and Subtropical Fruits, 3rd Papaya symposium , Orchids and Ornamental Plants and Banana symposium under ISHS during Royal Flora Ratchaphruek 2011.
11. Secretary of International Participation Working Group on Royal Flora Rachaphruek 2011.

Technical Publications

1. Manufacture of charcoal – Metal Kiln, XXVIII COCOTECH Meeting, Suva, Fiji, 22-26 July, 1991.
2. Coconut Processing in Thailand, The working groups Meeting on coconut – Processing Manila, Philippines, 8-10 November, 1989.
3. Potential of producing sugar from coconut and requirement for variety development, The workshop of promoting multi – purpose uses and competitiveness of the coconut, 26-29 September 1996.
4. Feasibility studies on Coconut palm sugar and coconut shell handicrafts production and coconut shell handicrafts production and marketing for Thailand coconut based Processing and livelihood project ; as the project Leader Team, 2000, IFAD – funded project, December 2000.
5. Establishing a frame work and selecting project sites for nationwide development of coconut – based poverty reducing interventions in coconut growing communities using COGENT’s 3-pronged strategy in Thailand, as Project – Leader Team, APO1/023, July 2001.
6. Identifying researchable constraints and opportunities to enhances incomes and reduce poverty in coconut growing communities in Thailand, as Project Leader Team, IDRC Project , January 2001.
7. Thailand catalogue of high value coconut products, COGENT – catalogue, August 2000.
8. Thailand catalogue of coconut recipes, COGENT – Catalogue, August 2000.
9. Thailand catalogue of Coconut shell handicrafts, COGENT – catalogue, August 2000.
10. Ochratoxin A Contamination of Coffee : An Overview of the Status in Thailand , Regional workshop on Improving Coffee Quality through Reduction of Mould Contamination , October 2002 Indonesia
11. Coconut Product Diversification as a Mean of Woman Empowerment and Poverty
Alleviation – Thailand experience, XL COCOTECH Meeting , 1 – 5 July 2003 , Sri Lanka
12. Production of High – Value Coconut Shell – based Products – COGENT , August 2003
13. Production of Coconut Sugar , COGENT , August 2003 14. Coffee Production and Trade in Thailand , 1 st BIMST – EC Sub sector Meeting on Flowers , Ornamental Plants ,Tea and Coffee, December 2003,Thailand.
15. Coffee Production and Trade in Thailand, 6th-12th ASEAN working group on coffee, 2007-2014,
16. Tea Production and Trade in Thailand, 5th-11th ASEAN working group on coffee, 2007-2014,
21. Cocoa Production and Marketing in Thailand , 14th-18th ASEAN Cocoa Working Group,2011.
22. Coconut Production and Marketing in Thailand, APCC Session, 2011,Bangkok , Thailand
23. Value Addition to Coconut( food, beverage, pharmaceutical & spa industries) , The FAO high level expert consultation on Coconut sector development in Asia and the Pacific region, 30 Oct.-1 Nov.2013
24. Coconut Oil production and marketing in Thailand, The 1st International Conference of Coconut oil 2015


Will be update soon


Will be update soon


Global market trend for coconut beverages

A presentation by Anandkumar, Tetra Pak SE Asia Pte Ltd, Singapore at the Conference on “Coconut Development: Strategies for sustained growth”, jointly organized by The Government of Kerala and the Coconut Development Board, Government of India.

The two most important coconut beverage products coconut water and coconut cream / milk have made the journey from being largely available and popular in tropics to being globally recognized product categories today. This has been made possible through product, process and pack innovation, making product more accessible to a much larger audience globally. This presentation aims to trace the history of this development from supply chain and processing perspective and then take a deep dive into the global consumption and innovation trends in these categories. Coconut water, once considered a by-product in coconut processing industry, is today one of its most valuable components. While not a new product, its popularity has increased on the back of its wider reach – enabled by advancement in its processing technology, its strong “natural” credentials and consumer belief in its health benefits. Those factors have enabled coconut water to become one of the fastest growing new generation beverage products. As a result, packaged coconut water production grew by a CAGR of ~20% between 2013-2017 and is projected to reach a market size of USD 3.4 Bn in value and a volume of 822 Million litres by 2019. Such growth has catapulted coconut water from being a niche beverage product to a definitive, established beverage category. Existing beverage companies are now eyeing a bigger share of this burgeoning market, heating up competition in this space. While the growth of the category continues to be driven by penetration of original, unflavoured version, innovation has now started to play an increasingly bigger role in driving category growth. These innovations have expanded the usage of coconut water to no of different consumption occasions. Some of the directions in which coconut water has expanded include natural hydration, refreshment products, reduced sugar fruit beverages, active lifestyle products etc. As this category continues to grow, we can expect more innovations within the category as well as through interplay between coconut water and other categories. The paper will discuss some of these new innovations on coconut water. The other significant coconut product is the coconut cream. It has traditionally been consumed in two forms in the Asian region – coconut cream (17-24% fat) in culinary application in Indian sub-continent and SE Asia and as RTD coconut milk (1.5-3.0% fat) in Greater China region. However, in recent years, the popularity of coconut milk-based beverages, as a dairyalternative, has increased significantly in the US, Europe and other parts of Asia and Oceania too. In US alone, the market for coconut milk-based beverages is now estimated at about 60 Mn litres and is registering a healthy double digit CAGR in last few years. Some of the innovations in the coconut milk-based beverages that have enabled this growth, include – different flavours variants of coconut milk, combining the goodness of coconut milk and coconut water and diversification into other categories such as coffee creamer and yoghurt. Focus of future development is expected to be around newer coconut milk-based products to offer more choices for consumers across different usage occasions in the dairy alternative space. As the demand for coconut products continue to rise, innovation is expected to be a key driver of growth. All major stakeholders in the industry – including coconut producers, processors, integrated solutions providers such as Tetra Pak and authorities such as Coconut Development Board and Asia Pacific Coconut Community, have an opportunity to collaborate even more to drive greater value realization through product premiumization and diversification, consistent with evolving consumer preferences. This has the potential further strengthen India’s place on global coconut map – not just as the largest producer of coconuts but also as a key partner in the innovation ecosystem.

Dr. KSMS Raghavarao

Recently he has taken over as the Director of CSIR-CFTRI and putting his best efforts to rise the institute to higher levels of performance. Dr. Raghavarao is basically a Chemical Engineer specialized in Food Engineering and Biotechnology. He obtained B.Tech from Andhra University (1981) and direct Ph.D. from ICT, Mumbai (formerly UDCT) in 1987. After post-doctoral at NIST-Colorado and a brief stay at NIT, Warangal, he joined CFTRI in 1990 and continuing till date. Dr. Raghavarao has over 25 years of experience with right combination of Applied and Basic research. Out of 30 significant achievements, 25 were converted into processes/technologies, out of which 15 were transferred to Industry. Phycocyanin from Spirulina is second highest technology premium at CFTRI. Whole coconut milk powder transferred to 4 industries. Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) technology transferred to about 60 industries. Dr. Raghavarao has guided 20 students/fellow scientists for Ph.D. in Food Engineering/ Biotechnology and currently guiding 5 at the moment. He has been recipient of prestigious NASI-Reliance and VASVIK awards for applied research. He has received 2 out of 4 prestigious National Fellowships of Academies (FNAE & FASc, Bangalore) besides several others (FNAAS, FAFST, FAPASc, FIE). He has received National Award for technology transfer by Ministry of Agriculture for Virgin Coconut Oil technology. He has over 160 publications (with ‘h’ index of 45) and citations over 6500, about 28 International patents and 55 Indian patents. He initiated several new research areas at CFTRI such as Aqueous Two Phase Extraction, Reverse Micellar Extraction, Adsorption, Bioreactor design for Hairy root and plant cell cultures, viscous fermentation (microbial polysaccharides), and for solid state fermentation besides food processing equipment especially for Indian Traditional Foods athermal membrane processes like direct osmosis and osmotic membrane distillation. He collaborated with several technology departments across CFTRI and outside institutions as PI/Co-PI in 50 grant-in-aid projects and 25 Industrially sponsored projects.


Innovative Technologies for Coconut Processing

Archana G. Lamdande# and KSMS Raghavarao*
Department of Food Engineering
CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore, India
Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research, New Delhi, India

India is the third largest coconut growing nation in the world. In order to develop the products from coconut and to improve the economy of this sector, Coconut Development Board is extending financial assistance for research projects to Central Food Technological Research Institutes (CFTRI) for developing technologies. With the financial support of Coconut Development Board, CFTRI has developed the processes for production of coconut milk powder, coconut dietary fiber, virgin coconut oil, coconut protein powder and many more. There is an ever-increasing scope for producing diversified products from the by-products of coconut industry. Such products will ensure better prize for the farmer, better products to consumer and more effective cost of production to the industry, introduction and adoption of modern technologies in coconut processing sector to provide technical impetus for transformation of traditional coconut dependent rural economy into a vibrant commercially viable economy, development of technologies/ process for consumer based products from by-products in coconut processing in order to increase the consumption of coconut and exploitation of by-products in coconut processing for production of value added, shelf-stable, convenient products are the major objectives of the research and development works. In this presentation, the highlights of R&D work carried out at CFTRI in this regard with latest developments are presented. A process for the production of tender coconut beverage (Coconut lassi) and mature coconut-water concentrate (Coconut honey) has been developed. A process for the production of coconut spread based on mature coconut-water concentrate and coconut dietary fiber has been developed and patented. Efforts are made to develop the dry mixes. Innovative approaches such as differential partitioning studies of coconut whey proteins using aqueous two-phase extraction have been conducted. Even efficient option of ultrafiltration in combination with spray drying was employed as a method of preparation of coconut whey protein powder. Formulations are prepared for coconut chutney powder. Considerable demand is there for the fractionation of coconut oil/VCO especially for separation of medium chain Triglycerides (MCTs). Innovative methods such as supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) and fractional crystallization will be very handy in this regard.

Dr. V Niral

Dr V Niral obtained her Ph.D from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi and her major field of specialization is agriculture: Genetics. She is the recipient of the ICAR Award for outstanding interdisciplinary team research in agriculture and allied sciences for the Biennium 1999-2000 for significant contribution in improvement of coconut germplasm. She is the nodal officer of the field gene bank at ICAR-CPCRI and curator of the International Coconut Gene Bank for South Asia and Middle East, one of the five multi-site international genebanks under the Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT). She has more than 23 years of research experience on Genetic Resources Management. She has contributed to the enrichment of the gene bank with trait specific as well as indigenous coconut germplasm from Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Assam, Meghalaya, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu. She has contributed to the development of Coconut descriptors of germplasm conserved at ICAR-CPCRI & Catalogue of World Conserved Coconut Germplasm. She has registered seven trait-specific germplasm with ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi, She has been instrumental in developing many new hybrid combinations, utilizing the available genetic resources for varietal development, and has established new Dwarf x Dwarf and Dwarf x Tall hybrid evaluation trials and also a comparative evaluation trial of diverse dwarf lines. She has contributed to the development and release of 16 improved coconut varieties for different agro-ecological zones and end uses, including dwarf tender nut varieties as well as hybrids and has obtained IP registration under PPVFRA for four of the varieties. She is involved in the production of planting material, including breeder seed production, of released varieties and parental lines to facilitate establishment of seed gardens. She has contributed to development of DUS test guidelines and is the nodal officer of the DUS Centre for coconut under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority, New Delhi.

Major Five Publications

She has published about 180 technical articles, including about 40 peer reviewed research papers, edited four books and contributed many book chapters.

• Niral, V. and Jerard, B. A. 2018. Botany, Origin and Genetic Resources of Coconut. In: The Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera L.)-Research and Development Perspectives, K. U. K. Nampoothiri, V. Krishnakumar, P. K. Thampan, M. Achuthan Nair (Eds.), Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2754-4, pp. 57-111.

• Chowdappa P., Niral V., Jerard B.A. and Samsudeen K. (Eds.). 2017. Coconut. Daya Publishing House, A Division of Astral International Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, India. 440p

• Niral, V., K. Devakumar, TS. Umamaheswari, S. Naganeeswaran, RV. Nair and B. A. Jerard, 2013, Morphological and molecular characterization of a large fruited unique coconut accession from Vaibhavwadi, Maharashtra, India. Indian Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding, 73(2): 220-224.

• Niral, V., Jerard, B. A., Kavitha, K.V., Samsudeen, K. and Nair, R.V, 2008, Variability and association among floral traits and pollen recovery in coconut (Cocos nucifera L.). Journal of Plantation. Crops, 36 (3): 186-191

• Ratnamabal, M.J., Niral, V., Krishnan, M. and Ravi Kumar, N. (2000). Coconut descriptors, Part II, C.P.C.R.I., Kasaragod, Kerala, India.

Email: niral.v@icar.gov.in



V. Niral
Principal Scientist (Genetics)
ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute,
P.O. Kudlu, Kasaragod 671 124 India
E mail: niral.v@icar.gov.in; niralv@yahoo.com

Coconut, Cocos nucifera L., a monoecious perennial monocotyledon, is a monospecific genus placed in Arecaceae family (formerly Palmaceae) and the sub family Cocoideae. It is an ancient species with no known wild relatives and has a long history of domestication and cultivation and hence considered as a semi-domesticated species. In spite of the evolutionary bottleneck, the present day population of this palm presents a range of variability with several distinct populations and ecotypes, widely differing from each other in morphological characters, particularly fruit characters and plant habit. Coconut palms are commonly categorized into two groups - Talls and Dwarfs, on the basis of a few important characters like stature, growth characteristics, precocious nature of flowering, fruit and copra characters. Natural introgression between divergent ecotypes has resulted in the emergence of intermediate types, both with and without human intervention. Further, certain variants, like seedless coconut or male coconut tree, spikeless coconut or spicata and unique types with sweet endosperm, soft endosperm, buttery endosperm (Makapuno), edible husk, pink husk, aroma, horned fruits etc are also reported from different coconut producing countries. Plant genetic resources are an essential prerequisite for undertaking any crop improvement programme. Variability within the germplasm pool is the basis for selection and hybridization for bringing about improvement in the targeted traits, reduction of vulnerability to various biotic/abiotic factors, meeting challenges emerging from climate change threats as well as changing consumer demand and market driven product diversification. Considering the global loss of agricultural land due to pressure from rising human population, industrialization as well as the threat of erosion and loss of island territories as well as coastal tracts to rising sea levels, there is an ever increasing loss of native biodiversity leading to genetic erosion. This is more so in crops like coconut that are predominantly cultivated in the humid coastal tropics. India has been in the forefront of coconut genetic resources conservation and was the first country in the world to take up systematic breeding programme and exploitation of hybrid vigour in coconut. The conserved germplasm has been utilized for coconut improvement research and development of improved varieties for cultivation in various agro-ecological zones of the country and for specific purpose viz., copra, tender nut, inflorescence sap, biotic and abiotic stress tolerance and ornamental purpose. Presently, ICAR-CPCRI has the world's largest collection of coconut germplasm with 455 accessions from 28 countries, representing germplasm of South and South East Asia, Africa, Caribbean Islands, Indian Ocean Islands and Pacific Ocean Islands. ICAR-CPCRI hosts the International Coconut Gene bank (ICG) for South Asia, one among the five ICGs located in different coconut growing regions (South East Asia, South Asia, Africa, South America and Pacific). ICG for South Asia presently conserves 49 designated Indian germplasm, accessions from member countries of the region, viz. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, as well as germplasm collected from the Indian Ocean Islands of Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Maldives, Comoros and Reunion. The ICGs are mandated to facilitate conservation, characterization as well as exchange of coconut genetic resources for crop improvement research and meeting challenges of food security and nutrition among mankind. The conserved germplasm are characterized using morphological descriptors as well as molecular markers to develop list of donor parents and identify diverse lines for better exploitation of heterosis and enabling better utilization of genetic resources by researchers and facilitate trait-specific improvement programme as well as development of improved varieties. Coconut Descriptors have been developed at ICAR-CPCRI, in addition to the development of the World Catalogue of Conserved Coconut Germplasm and Catalogue of farmers varieties brought out by COGENT/Bioversity International. With the focus of enabling higher productivity for farmers, prime importance has been given for developing high yielding varieties suitable for different agro-ecological zones, in order to meet the pressures of the increasing consumer demand. The long generation cycle, the cross-pollinating breeding behavior of tall coconuts, the lack of a viable vegetative propagation method, the low number of seeds produced per palm, and the massive stature of the palm are the most important constraints in coconut breeding. Due to these limitations, genetic improvement in coconuts has been limited to mass selection and hybridization mainly between tall and dwarf coconuts. However, sustained efforts by breeders have led to development of improved varieties in the country (50 varieties, including 20 hybrid varieties), leading to a spurt in production and productivity levels. With the major targets of productivity increase being met, focus is now being shifted to other objectives, viz. quality parameters, biotic/abiotic stress tolerance and climate resilience. Increasing emphasis is being placed on screening germplasm for inflorescence sap yield, endosperm milk yield as well as Virgin Coconut Oil recovery to enable value addition and development of improved varieties for higher yield and different end uses.

Dr. K B Hebbar

Dr K B Hebbar obtained his B.Sc. (Agriculture) degree and Master’s degree in Plant Physiology from University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore. He then worked for his Doctorate program (1990-94) at Water Technology Centre, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi on ‘Signal Transduction in plants’. Dr Hebbar joined as Scientist at Central Institute for Cotton research, Nagpur in 1995. As a physiologist he worked on drought, salinity and flooding tolerance of cotton plants and identified tolerant lines and the traits imparting tolerance to these stresses. He also developed a cotton simulation model Infocrop for the simulation of growth and production of cotton. In 2007, he got selected as Principal Scientist at Indian Institute of Soil Science. He has been awarded Borlaug Fellow for the year 2010 under climate change by United States Department of Agriculture. In 2010 he joined as Head Plant Physiology, Biochemistry and Post-Harvest Technology at ICAR-CPCRI, Kasaragod. In coconut to his credit he has developed a simple technology ‘coco-sap chiller’ for the collection of hygienic and unfermented coconut sap (neera) from the coconut spadix. From this sap protocols have been perfected for the production of various primary and secondary line value added products. The technology has been already implemented in states of Kerala, Goa and West Bengal for the collection and sale of fresh neera as health drink and in Tamil Nadu for the production of value added products. During his tenure number of coconut value added products have been developed and commercialised.

Major Five Publications

Hebbar, K.B., Pandiselvam, R., Manikantan, M.R., M. Arivalagan, Shameena Beegum, P. Chowdappa. 2018. Palm Sap—Quality Profiles, Fermentation Chemistry, and Preservation Methods. Sugar Tech (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12355-018-0597-z

Hebbar, K. B. ; Arivalagan, M. ; ManiKantan, M. R. ; Mathew, A. C. ; Thamban, C. ; Thomas, George V. ; Chowdappa, P. 2015. Coconut inflorescence sap and its value addition as sugar – collection techniques, yield, properties and market perspective. Current Science, doi: 10.18520/v109/i8/1411-1417

Arivalagan M, Rakesh B, Sugatha P, Poonam S, K.B. Hebbar, Santosh R. K. 2016. Biochemical and nutritional characterization of coconut (Cocos uciferaL.) haustorium. Food chemistry, 238: 153-159. DOI- 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.10.127.

K.B. Hebbar, Helan M. Rose, Anusree R. Nair, S. Kannan, V. Niral, M. Arivalagan, Alka Gupta, K. Samsudeen, K.P. Chandran, P. Chowdappa, P.V. Vara Prasad. Differences in in vitro pollen germination and pollen tube growth of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) cultivars in response to high temperature stress. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 153-35-44 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envexpbot.2018.04.014

Arivalagan M., Roy T.K., Yasmeen A.M., Pavithra K.C., Jwala P.N., Shivasankara K.S., Manikantan M.R., Hebbar K.B., Kanade S.R. (2018). Extraction of phenolic compounds with antioxidant potential from coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) testa and identification of phenolic acids and flavonoids using UPLC coupled with TQD-MS/MS. Food Science & Technology- Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft & Tech, 92: 116–126.

Email: hebbar.kb@icar.gov.in


Novel Products of ICAR-CPCRI to Turn Coconut Farmer into an Entrepreneur

K.B.Hebbar, A.C.Mathew, M.R.Manikantan, B. Shameena, Pandi Selvam
Plant Physiology, Biochemistry & Post Harvest Technology
ICAR-CPCRI Kasaragod
Email: balakbh64@gmail.com

The coconut farmers of Kerala have been struggling to cope up with unstable prices and rising labour costs. Of late it has been realized that product diversification of farm produce into high-value products with better price realization for farmers through competitive markets, value chains and improved linkage between field and fork could increase the farmers income. All at a sudden there is interest in coconut plantation and coconut based products. The recent innovations and the value chains developed in coconut at ICAR-CPCRI can transform the farmers into entrepreneurs and can easily double the income. Coconut palm, widely acclaimed as Kalpavriksha or Tree of Heaven or Wonder tree where each and every part is useful. Based on the raw material used, the major products can be categorised as sap based, tender nut water based, meat/ kernel based, husk based, shell based and leaf craft based products. Though coconut value addition is at its nascent stage, the recent innovations and the value chains developed in coconut can transform the farmers into entrepreneurs and can easily enhance the income. ICAR- Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) Kasaragod developed various value added products adoption of it as a cottage or small scale industries created demand both in domestic and international markets so as to get better price for the produce and improve the livelihood of the farmers. In that context, the Kalparasa (neera) a hygienic and unfermented sap from the coconut spadix collected by the coco-sap chiller and its amenability to develop various value added products like coconut sugar, jaggary,nectar or syrup has evinced keen interest in entrepreneurs and coconut farmers for its collection and marketing. Virgin coconut oil and coconut chips are other products attracting the attention of consumers. From the byproducts natural extruded products are prepared which are far superior in quality compared to the commercially available products. Here we explain in brief the process of sap, tender nut water and meat/ kernel based preparation of consumable products, their nutritive value, use and cost and returns by their adoption are discussed. These products evinced interest not only in coconut farmers but also in marketing personel, traders, policy makers, doctors and all those health conscious people.

R Ramakumar

R Ramakumar is an economist by training and is currently NABARD Chair Professor at the School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. His areas of interest include agrarian studies, agricultural economics, rural banking and micro-credit, public finance and national identity schemes. From September 2016, he has also been serving as a non-ministerial member with the Kerala State Planning Board.

Major Publications

Note-Bandi: Demonetisation and India's Elusive Chase for Black Money, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2018.

"Selecting a 'village' in the Malabar region, Kerala: A Note", Review of Agrarian Studies, 8 (1), 2018.

"Moving Out of Cotton: Notes from a Longitudinal Survey in Two Vidarbha Villages" (with Karan Raut and Tushar Kamble), Review of Agrarian Studies, 6 (3), 2016.

"Economic Rationale of ‘Demonetisation’: Scrutiny of the Government’s Claims" (with Vineet Kohli), Economic and Political Weekly, 51 (53), December 2016.

“Public Action, Agrarian Change and the Standard of Living of Agricultural Workers: A Study of a Village in Kerala”, Journal of Agrarian Change, 6 (3), 2006, pp. 306-345.

“Why do the States not spend? An Exploration of the Phenomenon of Cash Surpluses and the FRBM Legislation” (with T. M. Thomas Isaac), Economic and Political Weekly, 41 (48), December 2, 2006, pp. 4965-4976.

E-mail: rr@tiss.edu


Will be update soon

Ajit Mathai

Ajit is a Management Consultant with 30+ years of experience in work experience. He has advised clients on Sector Revival Plans, Project Management practices, technology implementation, organic farming and agriculture technology. He has worked in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nigeria. Ajit has also extensively worked in Kerala – he has worked with the Kerala State Planning Board; Ministry of Finance & Coir, Govt. of Kerala; State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD), Kerala; Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd. (KMML); Modernisation of Government Programme (MGP) and the Department of Tourism, Govt. of Kerala. He has assisted the Government of Kerala in developing a techno-economic study of Coir in Kerala, along with assistance in developing the proposed Coir Five Year plan in Kerala. He is currently implementing a technology solution for coconuts and coir in Kerala. Ajit is also a natural fibre expert – having worked with the Jute Corporation of India, National Jute Board and the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. He is an academic speaker and a Certified Trainer for LOTS® Visioning & Strategy Articulation. He heads the HR committee of the AMCHAM (American Chamber of Commerce), Chennai, and is a Member of the Educational Sub-committee of CII, Southern Chapter. Ajit is a keen organic farmer, tennis player, swimmer, practices Tai Chi and an ornithologist.


The paper aims to provide an aggregation led model for revival of the Coir sector in Kerala. This entails (1) enabling aggregation of homestead produce and services; (2) creating economically viable decentralized defibering MSMEs as a bridge between the homesteads and the industrial Coir sector; (3) extending professional shared services for the MSMEs and (4) ensuring scalability through implementation on a technology platform. The model has been demonstrated through a pilot study with Coconut producers and Coir defibering unit and is supported by secondary research. The study finds that distributed Coir fiber extraction units can be economically viable when (a) supported with steady and adequate supply of husk aggregated from the homesteads (b) provided adequate market linkage for its products and by-products and (c) operated professionally with maintenance, market linkage and working capital management shared services. The paper establishes the importance of the decentralized Coir defibering MSMEs through an economic viability analysis of the homestead which integrates with the Coir product sector.

Prof. Dr. Rakesh Kumar Sharma

Prof. Dr. Rakesh Kumar Sharma did his M. Pharm in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Panjab University, Chandigarh. He did Two years PG Diploma in Business Management from Punjabi University, Patiala. He holds his Ph.D in Chemistry from University of Delhi.

He is Elected Fellow of Association of Food Scientists and Technologists (India), Indian College of Nuclear Medicine, Society of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Indian Association of Biomedical Scientists and Institution of Chemists (India).

He has total Academic and Professional Experience for 36 years and retired as Director, Defence Food Research Laboratory, DRDO, Mysore, Karnataka. Dr Sharma holds appointment of Adjunct Professor of Jamia Hamdard in the Department of Pharmacognosy & Phytochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Honorary Professor in Food Processing and Preservation, Avinashilingam University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.While working in DRDO, Dr. Sharma has made significant contributions in CBRN defence, development of New Drugs, Novel Drugs Delivery Systems, Herbal Radioprotectors, Herbal Biothre at Mitigators, and Nutraceuticals. He has guided 12 students for the award of Ph.D.

Dr Sharma has acclaimed eight National and five International Awards. He is a member of Expert /Core Groups of many ministries of Government of India.

Dr. Sharma has filed 24 patents and published 341 papers besides contributing 54 chapters in books and editing 14 books.

Major Five Publications

1) Navneet Sharma, Mamta Chaudhary, Bhupendra Singh Butola, Joseph Kingston Jeyabalaji, Dharm Pal Pathak, Rakesh Kumar Sharma(2019). Preparation, characterization and evaluation of the Zinc titanate and Silver nitrate incorporated wipes for topical chemical and biological decontamination. Materials Science and Engineering:C .96, 183-196.https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2018.10.056 (Impact Factor 5.08).

2) Navneet Sharma, Rita Kakkar, Prerna Bansal, Anju Singh, Himanshu Ojha, DharamPal Pathak and Rakesh Kumar Sharma (2019). Host–guest complexation studies of p-tertbutylcalix[4]areneagainst ions of interest for radiological decontamination.  Inorganica Chimica Acta. 484, 111-124.doi.org/10.1016/j.ica.2018.09.007 (Impact Factor: 2.264)

3) Rahul Dhande, Amit Kumar, Rakesh Sharma and Hetal Thakkar (2018). 99mTc-Vinorelbine tartrate loaded Spherulites: Lung disposition study in Sprague-Dawley rats by Gamma Scintigraphy. Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 49,36-45 ( I.F-2.406)

4) Arpita Patel, Amit Tyagi, Rakesh Kumar Sharma, Hetal Parekh Thakkar (2018). Formulation of 99mTechnetium-labeled Leuprolide loaded liposomes and its Biodistribution study in New Zealand white female rabbits for assessment of its uterine targeting efficiency. Drug Deliv. and Transl. Res.8(1):43-53 https://doi/org/10.1007/s13346-017-0432-1 (I.F. = 3.395)

5) D. Uma Maheswari, Anand Tamatam,T. Mohan Manu, Farhath Khanum, Rakesh Kumar Sharma (2019). Motion sickness induced physiological and neuronal changes in mouse model. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research 10 (4), 1650-1659.

E-mail: vicechancellor@saveetha.com rksharmadrl@yahoo.com


Technological Innovations in Food Processing for creation of value added Coconut Products

Consumers demand for high quality foods that are fresh tasting and nutritious have created considerable interest in the development of new food-processing techniques. Consumers are also increasingly becoming aware of nutritional security and about the food safety. Food processing is food preservation, which involves maintaining the high quality properties of the food as long as possible. R&D effort by DFRL has helped in developing technologies to extend the shelf-life of a variety of traditional food products of Indian dietary matching the main frame palate/taste of India. Some of these simple technologies could be easily taken up by small and medium scale industries. India is the largest producer of coconuts. Coconut’s endosperm contains a large quantity of clear liquid, called ‘coconut water’. The water of tender coconut (TCW) is a sterile, nutritious and a thirst quenching natural health drink with gentle taste & flavor. It is rich in potassium and other minerals. After harvesting, the quality of tender coconut water in nuts is found to undergo deterioration after 72 h. The bulkiness of coconuts adds transportation cost. Developments in non-thermal technologies have been advanced by DFRL in an attempt to meet the challenge of producing safe processed food of a high quality. These techniques have been adopted for liquid products like coconut sap, tender coconut water and mature coconut water to achieve sterility with extended shelf life. DFRL, Mysore, in collaboration with the Coconut Development Board (CDB), Ministry of Agriculture, Kochi, has developed innovative state-of-the-art technology to preserve and stabilise TCW in flexible polymeric pouches and aluminum cans. The use of mild heat (Pasteurization) treatment and a bio-preservative are keys to the promising technology that is ideal for domestic as well as export markets. CDB can play a big role in opening up technology transfer mechanisms for foreign vendors.A diverse range of other food products has been prepared from coconut that satisfy the human nutritional and health requirements. Tender coconut water has been blended with different fruit pulps, i.e., lemon, mango, pineapple, blue grapes, apple, pomegranate, etc., to increase the palatability as plain tender coconut water has bland taste. Other value added products developed from coconut includes Beverage, Yoghurt, Jam, Jelly, Chips, Spread, Milk, Spray dried coconut milk powder, Coconut cream, Copra, Neera, Coconut chutney, Dehydrated coconut chutney, Nata-de-coco, Vinegar, Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and VCO meal based products, etc. This presentation will give a holistic view point about the concept of Value-addition in different segments of food industry and the gradual shift from traditional technologies to novel modern technologies used for coconut product’s quality enhancement and their future potential.

Dr. Thamban. C

Dr. Thamban. C is currently working as Principal Scientist (Agrl. Extension) at ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod. He has 22 years of experience in research as scientist in ICAR and six years of experience as Agricultural Officer in State Department of Agriculture. Completed B.Sc. (Agri.) and M.Sc.(Agri.) degree in Agricultural Extension from Kerala Agricultural University and has Ph.D. in Agricultural Extension from Annamalai University. So far he has completed 28 research projects mostly related to multidimensional analysis of technology generation, technology transfer and technology utilisation in coconut based farming systems. Besides, he has formulated and implemented various farmer participatory technology transfer initiatives for sustainable development of coconut sector as part of front line extension activities of CPCRI in collaboration with other stakeholders including State Department of Agriculture, Coconut Development Board and Farmer Producer Organisations. Innovation system analysis framework was employed to study the field level utilization of microirrigation technology by coconut growers, with special emphasis on factors associated with discontinuance of technology. Has employed value chain concept in the implementation of technological interventions to enhance efficiency of the production to consumption system in coconut and facilitated formation of CBOs. He has also undertaken many action research projects on farmer participatory group approaches and also on technology assessment and refinement for improving technology utilization to enhance productivity and income from coconut farming. He has more than 250 publications to his credit including 35 research articles.


Income enhancement from coconut farming: Status and Strategies

Coconut is predominantly a small holder’s crop in India, especially in states like Kerala, and there are serious concerns about the economic viability of farming in the fragmented coconut holdings. Under the evolving trade liberalization regime it is extremely challenging to sustain the coconut farming in Kerala as a profitable enterprise. A comprehensive rejuvenation programme to replace the old, senile and unproductive palms with quality seedlings of improved varieties in a farmer participatory mode is inevitable for the revitalization of coconut sector in the State. Policies for income enhancement in coconut sector should focus more on competitiveness through higher productivity. One way to achieve this goal is through increasing the net returns from coconut. The coconut based cropping/farming system models have conclusively proved that the scientifically designed coconut based cropping/farming system is capable of generating higher income compared to monocropping for small-holders. Promoting adoption of proven technologies such as on farm recycling of biomass including coconut leaves through vermicomposting, basin management with leguminous green manure plants, drip fertigation etc. would considerably reduce the production cost. It is also needed to enhance the resource use efficiency of the coconut tracts, and it warrants effective implementation of site specific resource management interventions based on the soil health and water availability status. Effective implementation of farmer participatory interventions for integrated pest and disease management in coconut gardens to prevent crop loss also would enhance the net efficiency of the system. To augment the productivity and income from small and marginal coconut holdings through better technology integration it is suggested to have group management of resources as an institutional mechanism, which helps to overcome the inherent weaknesses of fragmented holdings. In the existing scenario of increasing absentee landlordism and withdrawal of farmers from active coconut farming, the group approaches assume paramount importance. The group synergy could be effectively blended in each node of the value chain for restructuring the existing ‘buyer driven’ coconut value chain into a ‘producer driven’ one. The existing farmer producer organizations in coconut sector facilitated by different agencies are to be revitalized for the effective implementation of group initiatives. As an important strategy for enhancing income from coconut farming, the processing and value addition in the coconut sector has to be scaled up manifold. Effective monitoring and management of value chain system with appropriate horizontal and vertical linkages along with price support would play a crucial role in transforming coconut farming into a sustainable and remunerative enterprise.

Dr Jacob John

Dr Jacob John is the Principal Investigator of the All India Coordinated Research Project of the ICAR in Kerala and Project Coordinator in KAU of the project coordination group on “Farming System Research”. He is a State level resource person on integrated farming.

He has received 3 International, 4 National and 9 State level awards and conferred Fellow of the Indian Society of Plantation Crops for his outstanding research contribution in plantation crops.

He has prepared the background reports for agroecological zone based agricultural development for all districts of Kerala which have been published by the Kerala State Planning Board, Government of Kerala.

Major Five Publications

He has authored 26 books, 17 book chapters, 3 Technical bulletins and 131 research publications besides several popular scientific articles.

1. Jacob, J. (2014). Homestead Farming in Kerala: A Multi-Faceted Land-Use System. Review of Agrarian Studies Vol (4): 1. available at http://www.ras.org.in/homestead_farming_in_kerala

2. Jacob, J., Rajasekharan, P., Rajasree, G. and Bindu, P. (2014). Cropping Systems in Kerala. State Planning Board, Kerala p.46

3. Jacob, J. and Joy, M. (2007). Integrated approach towards coconut based farming systems. In: Coconut for Rural Welfare (Eds.P.K.Thampan and K.I.Vasu) pp. 109-106, Indonesia: Asian and Pacific Coconut Community.

4. Jacob, J. (2010). Allelopathic effect of trees in the homesteads of Kerala, India. Lambert Academic Publishing, Saarbrücken, Germany. ISBN: 978-3-8383-8988-2

5. Jacob, J., Patil, R.H., Joy, M. and Nair, A.M. (2006). Methodology of Allelopathy Research: 1.Agroforestry Systems. Allelopathy Journal 18 (2): 173-214.

E-mail: jacob.john@kau.in


Coconut based farming in the homesteads of Kerala Coconut has the status of a plantation crop worldwide. Unlike several countries, where coconut is grown in large gardens, Kerala has a unique feature of presence of coconut based home gardens, which have evolved in response to the pressure of shrinking land resource base coupled with high population density. According to the Ninth Agricultural Census of Kerala, the average size of an operational holding was 0.22 ha in 2010-11. This was against 0.24 ha in 2000-01. Also, out of the total holdings, the size group below one ha (marginal farmers) accounts for 96.33 per cent of the total number of holdings and the average size of the group is 0.13 ha (Department of Economics and Statistics, 2013). It is for these populous marginal homestead farmers that intensive land use practices like multitier cropping and integrated farming are becoming increasingly important. An extensive study undertaken during 2010-13, in all the 23 agro ecological units (AEUs) spread across fourteen districts of Kerala, to identify the yield gap and present level of technology adoption in coconut in homesteads revealed that, among the AEUs, the yield gap (difference between average yield in the AEU and best farmer yield) varied from 30 nuts palm-1 year-1 (Southern high hills) to 162 nuts palm-1 year-1 (Wayanad central plateau). The extensive use of local varieties, failure to supply nutrients as per recommendations, widespread incidence of diseases and pests coupled with the low adoption of recommended plant protection measures were identified as the major reasons for the huge yield gap. The rejuvenation and replanting programme has focused on the removal of senile and severely diseased palms accompanied by replacement with high yielding varieties. While the objective has been mainly improvement in the productivity, increasing the total production and income from the coconut based homesteads is yet to be addressed. Hence, a viable strategy for enhancing on-farm income is to integrate coconut rejuvenation progamme with other income and employment generating activities. Coconut based cropping/farming systems, involving cultivation of compatible crops in the interspaces of coconut and integration with other enterprises like dairying offer considerable scope for increasing production and productivity per unit area, time and inputs by more efficient utilization of resources like sunlight, soil, water and labour. Since the land holdings of coconut farmers are very small, another approcach for enhancing on farm income is by promoting small scale coconut based enterprises. Successful coconut based integrated farming system models for marginal homesteads which can be scaled up have been developed by the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU). Success stories of selected coconut based homesteads being restructured into sustainable model farms through planned scientific interventions following a farmer participatory approach by KAU are also discussed in this paper. Such coconut based homesteads if scientifically managed will help to achieve the multiple objectives of promoting effective waste management, resource conservation, bioresource recycling and energy conservation, besides providing food, nutritional and livelihood security.

Dr. K.M. Nair

Projects carried out for Kerala State:

1. Consultancy Project: Detailed Land Resource Inventory for Precision Agriculture in Part of Palakkad District with Special Reference to Rice Cultivation (Project Leader).

2. Consultancy project: Agro-ecology of Kerala (Project Leader)

3. Collaborative project (Multi-institutional): Soil based plant nutrient management plan for agro-ecosystems of Kerala (Project leader).

4. Collaborative project (Multi-institutional): Enhancing the Economic Viability of Coconut Based Land Use Systems for Land Use Planning in Kerala State (Project leader).

Academic activities:

1. Postgraduate teaching and Research Supervisor for UAS, Bangalore.

Major fields of expertise : 1. Soil survey, soil classification and mapping

3. Land evaluation and land use planning

4. GIS and Remote Sensing applications

5. Agro-ecological analysis and mapping.

6. Soil fertility assessment

Publications (Research papers/scientific reports/Presentations/bulletins etc.): 300


Soil Related Constraints to Coconut Production in Kerala

Among the leading coconut producing states of India, Kerala ranks first both in area and production. Coconut and coconut based mixed cropping is the largest land use system in the state contributing about 20 per cent of total agricultural GDP. It is paradoxical that, in the land of coconut, the average yield of the palm is abysmally low (around 50 nuts per palm per year), just half of what is realised in the adjoining Tamil Nadu. Many reasons are attributed to the decline of palm in the state.

1. Large fluctuations in market price for coconut, consequent to trade liberalization and cheap imports of palm oil.

2. Shift in source of livelihood for the population, from agriculture to other sectors of economy and consequent neglect of the palm.

3. Widespread incidence of pests and diseases, many of them lacking effective control: leaf rot, root wilt, lethal yellowing, incidence of mites, leaf mining caterpillar, red palm weevil etc.

4. High cost and scarcity of labour and low level of mechanization.

However, we have evidences to believe that decline in soil qualities are primarily responsible for the low yield realisation. Analysis of variability of agro-climate, soil qualities, and palm health and productivity across the state enabled delineation of five distinct coconut-growing regions.

1. Central and eastern Palakkad plains: The region comprising Alathur, Chittur and Palakkad taluks are climatically constrained for the palm, but scores high on soil qualities. The soils do not present any serious constraints to coconut and consequently palms are healthy and productive. The low rainfall and drought spells, however, warrant irrigation for the palm.

2. Northern Kerala: The region is delineated to represent areas with high rainfall, but long dry period (around five to six months in a year), comprise northern half of Thrissur district and land area beyond in north direction, but excluding high ranges. Coconut in the region is constrained by long dry period, strong acid reaction of soil and mineral plant nutrient deficiencies.

3. Central Kerala: Land area of the state north of Thiruvananthapuram city to southern half of Thrissur district, excluding Western Ghats, constitutes the region. While the climate is conducive for the palm, the soils are severely constraining with very strong surface and subsoil acidity and acute deficiency of mineral nutrients, in particular secondary nutrients calcium and magnesium and micro-nutrient boron.

4. Southern Kerala: The land area of Kerala south of Thiruvananthapuram city has most conducive climate and soil qualities for coconut.

5. Coastal sandy plain (including Onattukara): The sandy soil terrain along the coastline constitutes the region. The climate is fairly good, but soils are very infertile.

Climatic constraints in the regions follow the order: Central and eastern Palakkad > Northern Kerala > Central Kerala > Coastal sandy plain > Southern Kerala and soil constraints follow the order: Coastal sandy soils > Central Kerala > Northern Kerala > Southern Kerala > Central and eastern Palakkad.

Soil related constraints in the low productive regions (Northern Kerala, Central Kerala and Coastal sandy plains) are

1. Strong acidification of surface and subsoils

2. Deficiencies of plant nutrients, mainly potassium, calcium, magnesium, boron and boron.

3. Toxicity of aluminium, particularlly in subsoil,

Surface and subsoil soil acidity can be alleviated by application of lime and gypsum and mineral nutrient deficiencies by external inputs of mineral fertilizers containing major, secondary and micro-nutrients.

In the context of reviving the fortune of coconut in the state malady of the palms in the central region, relative to northern region, merit particular attention. In the former coconut palms suffer from very low productivity and poor health; leaf rot, root wilt, lethal yellowing etc. The analysis of a large body of legacy and new data sets on soil qualities helped explain the differences in palm health in the central region compared to northern region. The following conclusions were drawn.

1. The common perception about tropical soils in their natural environment (forest) is that they are fertile, supporting large biomass. Our studies have revealed that in central Kerala even the forest soils are strongly acid and depleted of basic cations, particularly in subsoils. In difference, forest soils of northern region are only slightly acid and have adequate reserves of basic cations in surface and subsoils. Conversion of forests to crop production systems often result in loss of fertile top soil. The process resulted in exposure of very infertile subsoil in central region, providing impetus to the maladies of coconut palms therein. The relatively base rich subsoil in northern region ensured reasonable health of the palms despite the loss of fertile top soil.

2. Agricultural intensification of twentieth century (driven by population pressure) in the central region far exceeded the process in north. The food shortages in the former region lead to intercropping of coconut with a host of perennial and annual crops and thereby further depleting mineral nutrients from the relatively infertile soils. Coconut palm suffered severely in the process. The green revolution model of agricultural development focused on external inputs of mineral plant nutrients, but restricted to major nutrients N, P and K, was of little solace to the palm in the strongly acid, calcium, magnesium and boron deficient soils. In fact, the inputs further aggravated soil acidification and intensified deficiencies of the secondary and micro-nutrients.

The soil related constraints to coconut in the state, though severe and debilitating, can be easily overcome through a proper mix of soil amendments and external inputs of mineral plant nutrients and the cost of palm management can be brought down by subtle changes in the agronomy of the palm. Regaining the palm health and thereby ensuring satisfactory level of productivity and profitability of coconut based land use systems must be a primary goal for the state in agriculture development. Coconut based mixed cropping systems make better sense for the ecologically fragile state for ensuring bio-diversity and providing environ-mental, economic and social services.

James J. Nedumpara 

James J. Nedumpara has more than two decades of experience in the field of international economic law. Currently he is on leave from leave Jindal Global Law School to head the Centre for Trade and Investment Law (CTIL), a think tank and advisory centre established by the Government of India at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT). In this capacity he advises the Government on various aspects relating to international trade and investment law. James has several years of experience in the field of international trade and economic law and has worked with leading law firms, corporate firms and also UNCTAD's India programme before joining academia.  He was also part of the Indian delegation that appeared in the recent proceedings on India- Agricultural Products (Avian Influenza dispute) before the WTO Appellate Body.

James has taught courses in international trade law as a visiting faculty at FGV Law School, São Paolo, Brazil, ITAM Mexico City, UNSW Sydney, Australia, NLSIU, Bangalore, NUJS Kolkatta and the CWS-WTI Joint Summer Academy. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) Trivandrum. James has also served visiting fellowships in several leading law schools.

James received his Ph.D. in Law from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore and holds graduate degrees in Law from the University of Cambridge, UK, the New York University School of Law, USA and the National University of Singapore. He took his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala. James is a recipient of the Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship and has also served an internship at the Legal Affairs Division of the WTO.

James also played a key role in introducing a Legal Studies as a subject in the CBSE curriculum in India and was the Convener of the Group of Legal Studies. He is a Co-Chair of the South Asia International Economic Law Network (SAIELN) and an academic supervisor of the TradeLab project.


Will be update soon

Dr. Regi Jacob Thomas

Dr. Regi Jacob Thomas completed his B.Sc (Agriculture) from Kerala Agricultural University (Trichur), M.Sc (Horticulture) from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (Coimbatore) and Ph.D (Horticulture) from IARI, New Delhi. He also completed Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights from Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi. He was selected for Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) and completed a short course on ‘Integrated Seed Sector Development’ at Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands. He served as Scientist at ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (ICAR-CPCRI), Kasaragod, Kerala, during 1998-99. He was the Scientist-In-Charge of International Coconut Genebank for South Asia, Kidu, Karnataka during 1999-2000. Since October 2000, he is working at ICAR-CPCRI, Regional Station, Kayamkulam, Kerala and presently he is Principal Scientist (Horticulture). He has vast experience in breeding for resistance to root (wilt) disease of coconut, coconut germplasm characterization and production of quality coconut seedlings for the root (wilt) disease prevalent tracts. He was associated with development of resistant/tolerant coconut varieties, establishment of coconut pollen cryo-preservatory, decentralized hybrid seedling production and in vitro culture of coconut. He has published 34 research papers in peer reviewed journals, 50 popular articles, presented 42 papers in national and international conferences/symposia’s, written over 10 book chapters and edited two books. He was involved in the release of three coconut varieties for the root (wilt) disease prevalent tract and served as expert for National Horticultural Board and Coconut Development Board. His current area of research includes developing high yielding and root (wilt) disease resistant dwarf and hybrid varieties of coconut and identification of molecular markers associated with disease resistance.



*Regi J. Thomas, K. Samsudeen and M. Shareefa
ICAR-Central Plantation Crop Research Institute, Kasaragod- 671124, Kerala State

Coconut is an important crop for many tropical countries. Most of the coconut plantations in our country are old and senile. Hence, a strategy for replanting of the existing coconut plantations has paramount significance. Rethinam (2002) estimated that 15 million coconut seedlings are required annually to meet the planting material demand in coconut. Though plenty of varieties and hybrids have been released during the past 25 years, these varieties and hybrids are yet to reach the farmers in adequate numbers. Kerala State accounts for maximum area under coconut cultivation. Planting material production in the eight southern districts of Kerala should focus on production of material with resistance / tolerance to root (wilt) disease. The major constraint in the production of quality planting material is the limited availability of mother palms. Many existing seed gardens are more than 30 years old and the available mother palms (especially dwarfs) in such seed gardens are nearing senility. Moreover the coconut seed gardens have only parental palms of coconut varieties available at the time of their establishment. Reports point out that public sector contributes only to 25-30% of the total demand of coconut seedlings. Several short term, medium term and long term strategies are listed for large-scale production of quality planting materials of coconut. Lack of stringent laws to ensure quality control has only helped mushrooming of spurious coconut nurseries. Hence, it is suggested to enact laws for mandatory accreditation of coconut nurseries as a strategy for Quality Control. Certification and labeling of planting material is also needed to ensure quality. In order to increase the hybrid seedling production in coconut, a decentralized production mechanism can be envisaged by maintaining centralized pollen storage and supply mechanism. The dwarf and tall mother palms identified in farmer’s plots can be used for hybridization with the pollen supplied from regional pollen preservatory for production of notified D X T and T X D hybrids. Besides, encouraging NGO’s and Farmer Producers Organizations (Coconut Producers Society, Coconut Producers Federation and Coconut Producers Company) for raising quality planting material of high yielding local coconut ecotypes (viz., Kuttiyadi, Annur, Komadan, Jappanan, Bedakam, Adinad and Edava) is also suggested. Another strategy is to plant Early Generation Seed (EGS) or Promising Lines for Multi Location Trials in farms and seed gardens so as to enhance the availability of mother palms. This will also hasten the spread and multiplication of such varieties as and when they are notified and released for cultivation.

Dr Ravi Bhat

Dr Ravi Bhat, born on 18th May 1965 obtained B.Sc.(Agri) degree and M.Sc. (Agri) in Agronomy from University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnatkak and Ph.D. from prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He joined Agricultural Research Service as Scientist in 1991. He joined ICAR-CPCRI, Regional Station Vittal in 1992 and worked as Scientist, Senior Scientist and Principal Scientist for 20 years. He then came to ICAR-CPCRI, Kasaragod as Head, Division of Crop Production in 2012. His major area of research was plant nutrition, water management and cropping system. He is instrumental in standardizing the technology of drip fertigation in arecanut. He also standardized the nutrient requirement of arecanut and critical nutrient limits for arecanut crop and arecanut growing soil. He was also involved in standardizing different arecanut and coconut based cropping/farming systems which increased the income of farmers by more than 2-3 times. As Head of Division, he is involved in monitoring/guiding the research work on nutrient and water management and cropping/farming system in coconut, arecanut and cocoa. He is instrumental in initiating research on precision farming in coconut and arecanut. He has published more than 150 research and popular articles in national and international journals. He has been rewarded for his contributions in arecanut research with Best Arecanut Scientist Award in the year 2012. He is a recognised guide for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students of different universities in Karnataka.


Irrigation Management in Coconut Plantation

Ravi Bhat and P. Subramanian

ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute Kasaragod - 671124, Kerala

Coconut, being a long duration perennial crop, produces a bunch every month. The nuts of different age groups can be seen at a time on the palm. Generally the initiation and differentiation of vegetative and reproductive primordia and enlargement of cells, which is a continuous process in coconut are sensitive to moisture stress. Thus the crop needs better growing conditions throughout the life period. Water is one of the important resources in coconut cultivation. Though coconut is traditionally grown in heavy rainfall areas receiving about 2500 to 3500 mm rainfall, majority of the rain is received in 5-6 months and the crop is subjected to deficit moisture stress during summer months (January to May). Increased yield of coconut by about 34 - 200% with the application of water alone indicates the importance of water in coconut cultivation. The studies conducted over years have estimated the annual water requirement of coconut as 1093-1126 mm and the annual irrigation requirement as 338-538 mm at different soil and climatic conditions (Saseendran and Jayakumar, 1988 and Liyanage and Mathes, 1989). Flood irrigation was initially adopted in coconut plantations for supplying water to palms. In this method entire field was irrigated and large quantity of water was required for irrigation. Later basin method of irrigation was adopted where the palms were irrigated only in basins around the palm. The quantity of water required was less in this method. With advent of technology and knowledge in irrigation management, sprinkler and perfo irrigation methods came into operational. With this the quantity of water required was much lesser compared to earlier methods. Further the scarcity of water lead to the invention of drip irrigation. Drip irrigation was much useful to the crops planted with wider spacing like coconut, since this method supplied water in the root zone of the crop and avoided wetting of entire field. By adopting drip irrigation method more area could be irrigated with less quantity of water. The studies conducted at ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute have concluded that providing drip irrigation at 66% pan evaporation is sufficient to meet the water requirement of coconut. Moisture distribution pattern under drip irrigation differed in different soil types. Thus number of drippers to be used should be based on the soil type for better efficiency of the system. Mulching has been found to enhance the efficiency of the drip irrigation system. The drip irrigation is found to be highly economical as it saves substantial quantity of water which can be used to irrigate more area. The method also increased the yield by 25-30%.

Dr Jayan Jose Thomas

Jayan Jose Thomas is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, where he has been employed since July 2010. Since August 2016, Jayan has also been serving as a Member of the Kerala State Planning Board, advising the State government on policies related to industry and employment growth. Jayan’s research has dealt with various aspects of Indian development, especially issues related to labour, industrialization and the macroeconomy. He teaches courses on macroeconomics, Indian economic development, international economics, and planning and development. Jayan completed his PhD in development economics from the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, and holds a Bachelors degree in industrial engineering from Kerala University. His previous academic positions were at the National University of Singapore (2004-2008 and 2014), Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata (2008), Madras School of Economics (2008-2009), and Central University of Kerala (2009-2010). His research papers have appeared in reputed journals including World Development, Development and Change, and Economic and Political Weekly. He contributes regularly to media outlets including the Hindu, Mint, Frontline, and BloombergQuint, and his research has been cited in the Government of India’s Economic Survey, Times of India, NDTV, BBC, and the Wall Street Journal.


Will be update soon


Jayasekhar Somasekharan is a Senior Scientist in the discipline of agricultural economics of ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), Kasaragod with 18 years of research experience. He has also served as an Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Expert to the Kingdom of Tonga and developed a national strategy for the coconut sector revitalization of the country. He was awarded the certificate of merit from the Government of Tonga for his contributions. His specific areas of academic interest include policy research in plantation crops, studies on global and domestic commodity chains of agricultural products and, impact of food safety standards on agricultural exports. He has been awarded the “Best Arecanut Scientist Award” for the biennium 2016-18, instituted by the Indian Society for Plantation Crops (ISPC) for the pioneering research work on domestic arecanut value chain. He has received the best researcher award by the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET) at Montpellier, France during July 2010. He is also the recipient of the Best Research Paper award during International economics and trade meet held at Brisbane, Australia during July 2014. He has served as the General Secretary of Indian Society of Plantation Crops (ISPC) during 2010-12.


Coconut Sector of Kerala: Experiencing the dynamics of trade agreements and price volatility

Jayasekhar S
ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod-671124

Of late, Indian coconut sector is facing unprecedented crises on account of various macro and micro level factors. The productivity of the crop is constrained by low input use efficiency in conjunction with other biotic and abiotic stresses, which are priority areas of research. The aspect of mechanization also deserves adequate importance, considering the scarcity of skilled labour. Above all, the most important facet is value addition, which should be strengthened to mitigate the issue of low profitability of the sector. The post World Trade Agreement (WTA) and ASEAN Treaty regime witnessed integration of plantation economies across the globe that resulted in fierce competition among producing countries. In this paper, we have attempted to address the pertinent issues on various facets of coconut economy by employing appropriate economic tools of analysis. The facets covered include trade aspects, global competitiveness, production economics, price analysis, policy level impediments, and marketing issues. We have found that as far as the export markets of coconut value added products are concerned, India is comparatively a very small player with paltry export market shares. However, in recent times, Indian export sector has become vibrant with very high growth rate since Coconut Development Board (CDB) has been upgraded to the status of Export Promotion Council (EPC). Indian coconut sector has huge domestic demand, comparatively higher productivity, strong research support, and technology delivery systems. In spite of these positive aspects, concerted efforts are lacking to effectively utilize the possible linkages between them for increasing the production and marketing efficiencies and enter the high value global chains. Sustainable coconut economy could only be achieved through integrated development of cultivation and industry coupled with a stable market.


Presently, coconut growers are more exposed to economic risks and uncertainties owing to the high degree of price fluctuations. For brightening the future prospects of a sustainable coconut sector, it is imperative to delink the sector from the dependency on coconut oil and enhance the production of diversified value added products (Jayasekhar et al., 2016a). Further, to ensure the livelihood security of those dependent on the sector, it is of paramount importance to strengthen the value chain of the coconut through appropriate forward and backward integration of the chain. Relatively low proportion of family labour participation in farming and consequent higher share on wage labour component in the cost of production, render coconut farming costly and debilitate its competitiveness (Jayasekhar et al., 2016b) . The entailing built-in rigidities in the cost structure make it difficult to adjust at times of price fall, indubitably pointing towards the farmers’ refrain from coconut cultivation unless and until they find the enterprise remunerative. Keeping abreast of the race in productivity alone cannot guarantee success or even survival in an activity exposed to unmediated global competition (Harilal, 2010). It is imperative to think beyond the periphery of production and productivity especially when a wide range of other issues plague the coconut sector. The coconut sector in the country is internationally integrated and faces fierce competition from other major coconut producing countries especially in the post World Trade Agreement (WTA) and ASEAN treaty era. Despite the importance of coconut with respect to its economic, nutritive and health contributions, coconut farming in India has been lately considered as unremenurative. The present study traverses through crucial aspects of Indian coconut economy to reflect upon the issues and challenges confronted in the sector.

Data and methodology

The paper examines the global trade scenario through the lens of market share analysis. The study also attempts to look into the looming crisis in the coconut sector and impediments experienced in the trade of coconuts and its products. The data on global aspects of coconut and coconut products was collected from Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC)1 statistical year book (APCC, 2016) and UNCOMTRADE database (Comtrade, 2018). The domestic data on coconut and its products was garnered from Coconut Development Board, Kochi (CDB, 2018) and EXIM databank (Government of India, 2018). The earlier studies conducted on impact of free trade agreements on plantation sector, price analysis and product diversification were critically reviewed (Veeramani and Gordhan, 2011; Jayasekhar et al., 2014) and optimally utilized for the present analysis. A semi structured interview schedule was employed to collect the details of marketing aspects of coconut sector from the stakeholders of the coconut market chain. The aspects on production economics was analysed through a purposive sampling method wherein farmers across various economic strata were selected and the data was compared with the recommended scientific package of practices.

Results and Discussion Trade aspects

The total value of exports in the case of coconut products during the year 2016-177 was found to be Rs. 20617 million, which is 42 per cent higher than that of the export earnings of the year 2015-16 (Table 1). On the other hand, the imports of coconut products to India in the year 2016-2017 (valued at Rs. 2706 million) was observed to be 29 per cent less than that of the value of imports during 2015-16 (valued at Rs. 3832 million). The major coconut products imported to India was copra meal (coconut oil cake), which accounts for 96 per cent value share of total imports. Importantly, the import of coconut oil to the country has come down to around 9 MT during the year 2016-17 from 2759 MT imported during the year 2015-16.

It was observed that the import intensity of the coconuts and coconut products are at low levels (Table 2), and thereby will not influence the domestic price behaviour of the product. Moreover, as far as the international trade is concerned, India can boast a robust domestic market in comparison with other competing counter parts. Furthermore, the coconut and coconut oil are in exclusion list of ASEAN India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA), which provides temporary immunity for the domestic coconut oil sector. Nonetheless, the commodities in the exclusion list are subjected to periodic revision, and there is all probability that coconut oil will be included in the reduction list sooner or later. In such a scenario, the immunity of the coconut oil from the cheaper imports will be lost, and eventually there will be huge price crash in the domestic coconut oil sector.

Global competitiveness

It is imperative to have a look at the international trade scenario of coconut value added product exports. While comparing with other major global exporters, the share of India in coconut product exports is meagre (Table 3). Though it is an accepted fact that India holds a robust domestic market in the coconut sector, it is high time that India emerges as a major export player by upgrading its position in the global value chain of coconut exports. The Philippines and Indonesia together contribute the major world export share of coconut oil, copra meal and desiccated coconut. Sri Lanka too contributes substantially to the international exports of coconut milk, shell charcoal and coir products.

It is worth mentioning that a major proportion of coconut produced in India is consumed domestically itself (Fig. 1). On the other hand, the Philippines consumes only 25 per cent of its coconut production domestically. The economic logic always point towards the correlation between the domestic consumption and export growth. In most of the cases, when there is a market surplus developing outward market orientation, there will certainly have a first mover advantage as well. This is exactly what happened with the Philippines and now they are the most competent exporter with respect to coconut and coconut products. Nevertheless, India, of late, has been making concerted effort to penetrate their products in the high value export segments.

Production economics: Domestic level

Cost of production of coconut in Kerala State, India, based on data from a well-managed coconut garden, is Rs 8.94 per nut. In this scenario, about 56 percent of the total cost incurred is due to labour charges. This shows the higher per unit labour charges prevailing in Kerala, which can be attributed to higher labour demand and higher cost of labour in Kerala. In addition, lack of availability of sufficient skilled labourers for harvesting of coconut leads to higher cost of cultivation of coconut in Kerala. Currently, the wage rate prevailing in Kerala is around Rs. 700 per day, which is one of the highest costs prevailing for agricultural labour in India. About 26 percent of the total cost is for purchasing manures and fertilizers and plant protection chemicals. Total cost of cultivation per hectare is Rs. 1,40,800 with an average productivity of 90 nuts palm-1 year-1(Table 4). The processing cost for copra is around 24 percent of total cost. The copra recovery per nut is @ 120 g and cost of production of copra is Rs. 83.25 kg-1 of copra

Analysing the prices

Beyond any degree of doubt, in the recent times, trade related issues, market access, and attractive prices are the major factors shaping up investment decisions in coconut farming enterprise. The above mentioned factors assume much more importance than that of the increase in productivity, which otherwise conventionally considered as the single crucial component. The coconut farmers in India are so far concentrated in the upstream end of the coconut value chain, without any functional upgradation.

As a matter of fact, the confidence of coconut farmer can be elevated only when a stabilized price regime is experienced for a reasonable period. Analysis of coconut prices for over a decade (2004-16) depicts the increasing price volatility, especially in the recent years (Fig. 2). From 2004 till 2009, the prices were declining with comparatively low price fluctuations. On the other hand from the year 2010 onwards, the price fluctuations are quite apparent wherein the prices started rising reaching peak levels during the mid-2011 after which it plummeted to low levels. But again from the beginning of 2013, the prices started improving and the prices continued as attractive, and all over again, from 2015 onwards the sector has been experiencing a price crash regime, followed by a price rise regime in 2018. Jnandadevan and Jayasekhar (2011) attempted to characterize the earlier price rise regime (during 2011). They have put forth the argument that the price rise regime experienced in the coconut sector is linked with the supply crunch of coconuts and copra coupled with huge industrial demand for processing and exports. They have provided corroborative evidences in the form of increasing export growth rate, inefficient copra procurement and low levels of supply, and general supply deficit in edible oil sector. They have also rightly argued that the bubbles of price rise regime is not helpful for the sectoral prosperity, as these sort of price boom periods are not long-lasting enough to instil confidence in the coconut farmers to have a serious reorientation towards scientific farming approaches.

Besides, the analysis of demand-supply scenario using stock-use ratio revealed that there is a declining demand for coconut oil from 2012-13 onwards and the wedge between demand and supply has been narrowed down. This, of late, has certainly reflected in realization of low prices for the commodity. It was observed that there is huge price wedge between domestic and international prices (Fig. 3). As the prices will tend to integrate, there is a possibility for a price crash in the near future.

Policy level impediments

For the past two decades, plantation sector in India has been confronting a commodity crisis, arguably, an off shoot of the ongoing trade liberalization. The regional trade agreements such as AIFTA has made the crisis even worse due to the adverse policy frame in the form of phased tariff reduction and fixation of import tariffs at extremely low-level. In this context, it would be erroneous to view coconut sector in isolation, because the trade and tariff decisions on competing crops as well as edible oils in general would straight away affect the coconut sector as well. In Table 6, tariff reduction schedule of the special products are depicted, wherein the reduction commitment of palm oil (an immediate substitute of coconut oil) is notable. Unprecedented growth rate in palm oil imports in recent times is also a matter of concern in view of the domestic prices of the coconuts. The possibility of lowering the existing tariff structure of special products in the forthcoming review meetings of AIFTA is also bothersome.

With the ongoing liberalization process across the world, proliferation of regional free trade agreements (RTAs) has become inevitable. There will be differential impact of such trade agreements on different sectors, and it is important to safeguard the plantation sector in general and coconut in particular in the forthcoming RTAs. In view of this, it is imperative to conduct studies on challenges faced by the coconut sector at micro and macro levels to bring out plausible strategic action plans for the sectoral reorientation. It is also crucial to envisage appropriate policy options with regard to the trade and tariff structures of coconut sector and to ensure such sectoral details are appropriately represented in the national and international dialogues.

It is always better to have a floating import duty structure on edible oils, so that the tariffs can be adjusted in relation to the international prices of edible oils to stabilize the domestic price fluctuations. But in the case of palm oil in India, the import duty was always hovering around five per cent, irrespective of the international price movements. The flawed tariff fixation of such pattern had detrimentally affected the domestic price scenario (and movements) of the coconut oil in the country. Therefore, it is vital to regulate the edible oil tariff structure, so that the state machinery can adopt flexible policy options to control the price fluctuations of coconut oil.

Issues related to procurement and marketing

The studies on marketing margins and costs are important as they reveal many facets of trade, price structure, and the efficiency of the system. The ‘price spread’ is associated with the movement of a commodity from the producer to consumer wherein the actual costs involved in the transaction at various nodes as well as the margins accrued to various actors at different nodes are accounted. In general, the term ‘price spread’ in agriculture implies the ‘producer’s share in consumer’s rupee’. The impact of risks is more severe in the case of perennials, in which heavy initial investments are made. Price spread analysis of coconut marketing revealed that near about 70 per cent of the farmers sell their produce through the village traders as raw coconuts.

Less marketable surplus due to small and marginal holding size is the major reason for the farmers for not undertaking copra or oil for sale. The marketing channel consists of village traders, whole sellers and retailers who in turn sell their products to oil millers and retailers and send some of their lots to upcountry markets as raw nuts, edible or ball copra. Predominant marketing channel identified is:

ProducerCopra makerOil millerwhole sellerConsumer

In Kerala conditions, which are the same in many countries with predominantly small holder coconut gardens, the producer share in consumer rupee was found to be around 64 per cent and the market chain consumes as much as 36 per cent share in the total value chain. Higher price spread always indicates a lower share of the final price to the producer. In other words it reflects the low marketing efficiency of the market channel. The price spread and marketing efficiency can be improved only through collective and constant efforts in terms of adoption of higher value addition technologies at individual or group level.

Coconut sector in India has been experiencing a low profit and low income regime for quite long and the impact is such that, the farmers lost their interest in scientific coconut based farming systems (Mani and Santhakumar, 2011). As of now, the prices of coconuts are attractive and this is the apt opportunity for creating awareness among coconut growers on integrated coconut based farming systems, the adoption of which can act as shock absorber in the event of failure or price crash of the main crop. It is an experienced fact that the coconut prices are volatile and unpredictable, and there are close substitutes available to replace the coconut oil in the event of any supply shock or price crash.. In this scenario, it is wise to redefine the present coconut farming methods more towards high density integrated farming, based on the agro-climatic specifications.

Coconut prices in India have been historically integrated with the coconut oil prices (reference). Therefore, indubitably, the coconut prices received by the farmers are integrated with the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of copra. In general, the farmer prefers to sell fresh coconut when the price of coconut is attractive, as he receives a remunerative sum as ready cash and he can avoid processing and transportation charges. Contrary to this, if the copra and oil prices are lucrative; farmer prefers to do at least primary level processing which would augment farm level copra production. Therefore, the MSP for copra fixed at higher levels would certainly influence and act as an incentive for the primary value addition in coconut.

Having said this, it should be mentioned that the copra procurement system in the country has been functioning always at sub-optimal levels and never effective in lifting up the market prices to an optimum levels. The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED) is the apex state machinery controlling the copra procurement. The major issue faced by the NAFED in the event of huge procurement was, finding the appropriate market avenue to push the product with a reasonable margin, and lack of such an avenue had resulted in market failures in the past.

Minimum Support Price (MSP) should be in such a way that it ensures an incentive for processing to the coconut farmers when compared with that of selling fresh coconut. Other pertinent factors in this context of discussion are lack of effectiveness and efficiency in copra procurement by the agencies and inadequate infrastructural facilities for the storage of copra. It is noteworthy that for the most part of the year, copra is traded below MSP. The effectiveness and efficiency of price support mechanism can be enhanced only by means of adequate quantity of procurement and by ensuring that the genuine farmers are benefitted by the system of procurement. It is also important to design the procurement pattern in such a manner that adequate quantity is procured throughout the year, without any monthly restrictions.


Lack of competitiveness of coconut oil compared to palm oil in the domestic market had adversely affected the domestic coconut sector and the excessive import of palm oil had frequently triggered price crash in coconuts. There is a need to re-calibrate the import duty structure and it is essential that within the framework of permissible limits the tariff rates for the import of palm oil, both crude and refined palm oil are enhanced to protect the interests of coconut growers. In view of the ineffective procurement of copra and raw coconuts in the state, it is suggested to establish block level/panchayat level hubs with forward and backward integration along with unit level collection centres under the supervision of CPS networks. The potential area of the coconut sector is the agri-business, based on value added products of coconuts. The breakthrough products developed from the coconuts have the export potential and thereby in long run, the price stabilization in the domestic coconut sector is also possible. In view of the proliferating regional trade agreements, hereafter the modalities of such a commodity specific trade agreement should be worked out with utmost care wherein we should end up in awin-win situation. In this respect we need to thoroughly analyze the existing the tariff structure of each APCC countries, and an unbiased tariff reduction schedule should be proposed. It is also important to consider the existing tariff structures of close substitutes/competing products of each countries and thereby arriving at a consensus.


APCC . 2016. Coconut Statistical Year Book-2015, Asia Pacific Coconut Community, Jakarta, Indonesia, 351p.

CDB.2018. Statistics/Prices: Import/Exports. Coconut Development Board Website.http://coconutboard.nic.in/ (Accessed on 14/12/2018).

Comtrade, 2018. UN Comtrade International Trade Statistics Database. https://comtrade.un.org/ (Accessed on 02/11/ 2018).

Government of India. 2018. Export Import Data Bank Version 7.1-TRADESTAT. Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. http://commerce-app.gov.in/eidb/ (Accessed on 01/09/2018)

Harilal, K.N. 2010. ASEAN-India free trade area- Noises of dissent from deep south. Occasional Paper No. 2010:01 State Planning Board, Government of Kerala.

Jayasekhar, S., Chandran, K.P., Jaganathan, D. and Thamban, C. 2016a. Indian coconut sector: Trade and marketing. Indian Coconut Journal 61(8) 2016: 05-08.

Jayasekhar, S., Chandran,K.P., Thamban C., Jaganathan, D. and Muralidharan, K. 2016b. Analyzing the trade competitiveness of Indian coconut sector in the liberalization regime. Journal of Plantation Crops 44(3): 147-152.

Jayasekhar, S., Chandran, K.P., Thamban, C., and Muralidharan, K. 2014. Price stabilization through stakeholder synergy: The key to revitalize coconut sector. Indian Coconut Journal 56 (2) 20-23.

Jnanadevan, R. and Jayasekhar, S. 2011. Coconut sector experiencing a price rise regime. Indian Coconut Journal 54(4):26-30.

Mani, S. and Santhakumar, V . 2011. Diffusion of new technologies and productivity growth in agriculture: Natural rubber vs. coconuts. Economic & Political Weekly 46(6): 58-63.

Veeramani, C. and S. K, Gordhan. 2011. Impact of ASEAN-India Preferential Trade Agreement on Plantation Commodities: A Simulation Analysis. Economic & Political Weekly 46 (10): 83-92.

Dr.(Mrs). Anitha Karun

Dr. Anitha Karun completed her professional degree courses B. Sc (Agri.), M. Sc (Agri.) in Horticulture and Ph.D (Horticulture) from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore.  She started her career as Assistant Professor in Horticulture at Kerala Agriculture University in 1988 and was subsequently selected to Agricultural Research Service in 1990. She was posted as Scientist at ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod, Kerala.  From 2012- January 2019, she was the Principal Scientist and Head of Crop Improvement Division of ICAR-CPCRI, Kasaragod, Kerala. Presently, she is holding the post of Director (Acting), ICAR-CPCRI. Areas of specialization are palm tissue/organ culture, cryopreservation and molecular biology. She had undergone international training programme on molecular biology at University of Adelaide, South Australia in 1995.   She has been awarded ‘ICAR Award for Team Research’ for the biennium 1999-2000’ for her major contribution in germplasm exchange of coconut in the form of embryos for the first time in the world. The best arecanut scientist for the Biennium 2013-14 by Indian Society for plantation crops for the outstanding contribution in the field of arecanut biotechnology research. As a country expert in the field of embryo culture and cryopreservation, she has visited South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and El Salvador(Central America). She has published more than 175 research papers in leading national and international Journals, 3 books and 12 book chapters and three technical bulletins and has guided 6 Ph. D and 45 M.Sc students.

Major Publications:
Books Edited:

Chowdappa, P., Anitha Karun, Rajesh, M.K. and Ramesh S.V. (2017) Biotechnology of Plantation Crops. Daya Publishing House, Astral International Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India. 742 p.

  • Somatic embryogenesis and plantlet regeneration from leaf and inflorescence explants of arecanuts (Areca catechu L.)
  • Plant regeneration from embryo-derived callus of oil palm- the effect of exogenous polyamines.
  • Plantlet regeneration from leaf explants of oil palm
  • Short-term storage of coconut embryos in sterile water
  • Comparative gene expression profiling during in vitro regeneration in two coconut cultivars
  • Somatic embryogenesis and bioreactors
  • Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) pollen cryopreservation
  • Development of a SCoT-derived SCAR marker associated with tall-type palm trait in arecanut and its utilization in hybrid (dwarf x tall) authentication
  • PRGPred: A platform for prediction of domains of resistance gene analogue (RGA) in Arecaceae developed by using machine learning algorithms
  • Marker assisted detection of seed sex ratio in palmyrah palm (Borassus flabellifer L.)
  • Identification of RAPD markers linked to sex determination in palmyrah (Borassus flabellifer L.).
  • Identification of expressed resistance gene analog sequences in coconut leaf transcriptome and their evolutionary analysis
  • Genetic relationship and diversity among coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) accessions revealed through SCoT analysis
  • Genetic and phylogenetic relationships of coconut populations from Amini and Kadmat Islands, Lakshadweep (India)
  • Characterization of Annur and Bedakam Ecotypes of coconut from Kerala state, India, using microsatellite markers
  • Polyamine-induced somatic embryogenesis and plantlet regeneration in vitro from plumular explants of dwarf cultivars of coconut
  • Application of RAPD markers in hybrid verification in coconut
  • Scope of novel and rare bulbiferous coconut palms (Cocos nucifera L.).
  • Diversity in Mohachao Narel, a sweet endosperm coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) population from Maharashtra, India
  • Development of a RAPD-derived SCAR marker associated with tall-type palm trait in coconut.
  • A database for coconut crop improvement
Technology commercialized:
  • Coconut Embryo rescue/ culture -2014
  • Tissue culture of arecanut -2018
  • Coconut pollen cryopreservation 2015
E-mail Address:anithakarun2008@gmail.com


Reviving Coconut Sector in Kerala: Prospects &Perspectives

Coconut sector plays a vital role in the agrarian economy of Kerala, besides its unique place in the socio-cultural fabric of the region. It was always considered as the symbol of rural prosperity and for many years Kerala ranked first in both area and production of coconut in the country. The coconut sector contributes around 15% of total agricultural GDP of Kerala, thus inextricably linked to the agricultural economy of the state. It is estimated that there are about 3.5 million holdings and at least 5 million people depend on this crop directly or indirectly for their employment and livelihood. However, Kerala, the 'land of coconut' has gradually lost its supremacy in coconut production scenario of the country. For instance, in the year 1990, Kerala accounted for 57 per cent area and 47 per cent production of coconut in the country. However, Kerala’s share in area as well as production of coconut has been declining over time (during 2015-16 Kerala accounted for only 36 per cent area and 33 per cent production in the country), and coconut growers are going through a crisis situation, as they find it tough to manage the crop on a remunerative basis. At present, Kerala produces 7448 million coconuts (31.1 per cent share) in the country from an area of 770 thousand hectares. Total productivity has reached up to 9664 nuts/ha in 2017. Nevertheless, the productivity of the state is still below the national average (11481 nuts/ha), which is a matter of concern. Moreover, the current decade is witnessing mass withdrawal of people from this sector, despite the research outputs generated and extended by the research and developmental institutions. Hence, redemption of the traditional coconut farming and reorientation towards profitable ventures is becoming a necessity. Constraints such as high level of market fluctuation/price crash in coconut, changes in the demographic characteristics of coconut growers with a shift towards absentee landlordism, predominance of senile and unproductive palms, predominance of small and marginal holdings, over populated stands of both coconut and other trees in the homesteads, low level of adoption of crop management practices resulting in low productivity, depletion of natural resources in coconut gardens and soil related constraints, inadequate irrigation facilities, lack of availability of quality planting materials, lack of skilled labour and high wage rate, crop loss due to incidence of various pests and diseases, low level of product diversification etc. adversely affects coconut farming in the state, and as such coconut has become a neglected crop. Hence, appropriate research, extension and policy interventions are to be formulated and implemented to enable coconut growers to alleviate these constraints and steer the sector towards achieving the goal of sustainability. The foremost strategy for improving the coconut production in Kerala is the massive cutting and removal of senile and disease affected coconut palms which are beyond recovery, removal of over aged palms; regulating the palm density and replanting with high yielding planting materials along with adoption of suitable agro-management practices in farmer participatory cluster mode. The strategy for revitalising coconut sector in Kerala needs to revolve around interventions for ensuring adequate care and management of coconut palms in the existing gardens to enhance productivity. Coconut based integrated farming systems developed by ICAR-CPCRI found to increase the total productivity per unit area, and generated a net income of Rs. 5.7 lakhs/ha, which is 293 per cent higher than that of coconut monocrop (Rs. 1.4 lakhs). A coconut based mixed farming system comprising coconut, pepper, banana, crossbred cows, poultry birds, goat, and pisciculture has proved to generate returns up to three times higher than that of coconut monocrop. In addition to the economic benefits, the systems ensure food and nutritional security coupled with sustainability and environmental services. It is imperative to keep in pace with the technology upgradations for effective translation of the same in the coconut gardens. For instance, the technology for vermicomposting of coconut leaves as part of on-farm organic matter recycling in coconut gardens is very relevant in the context of growing awareness about organic farming/eco-friendly farming in Kerala. Community/group approaches ensuring active participation of farmers are needed for the effective implementation of integrated pest/disease management in coconut. The yield increment due to adoption of the integrated management package in root (wilt) disease affected tracts in Kerala results in additional of 8.3 billion rupees. Area-wide implementation of IPM of red palm weevil could reduce the pest incidence up to 56.8% in Kerala that in turn yields 50.7 million rupees/year. Soil and water conservation technologies have enhanced the water and fertilizer use efficiency and increased the coconut yield up to 60 per cent. Competitiveness of coconut oil compared to palm oil in the domestic market gets adversely affected and the excessive import of palm oil had frequently triggered price crash in coconut. There is a need to re-calibrate the import duty structure and it is essential that within the framework of permissible limits the tariff rates for the import of palm oil, both crude and refined palm oil are enhanced to protect the interests of coconut growers. In view of the ineffective procurement of copra and raw coconuts in the state, it is suggested to establish block level/panchayat level hubs with forward and backward integration along with unit level collection centres under the supervision of CPS networks. Technological research has been successful in evolving appropriate processing technologies for the profitable utilization of products and by-products of the coconut palm including tender nut, coconut kernel, coconut water, coconut wood, shell and leaves. To cope with the market fluctuations, there is a need for product diversification and by-product utilization. Another strategic area which has raised lot of expectation is the potential for production (ICAR-CPCRI technology) and marketing of neera. Various value added products like coconut palm sugar, palm jaggery, coconut honey and coconut syrup can also be made from neera. Technologies are now available for preserving and packing coconut inflorescence sap as 'neera 'or sweet toddy as non-alcoholic health drink.. Though coconut sector in the state of late confronted by umpteen challenges, there are way outs to combat and conquer the obstacles and steer the sector to a profitable vibrant and sustainable road map. Further, effective linkage is to be established among different research, extension and development agencies and coconut farming community through well coordinated participatory research/extension programmes for ensuring a meaningful technology generation and transfer in coconut.

Prof (Dr.) Jiju P Alex

Currently the Director of Extension, Kerala Agricultural University, with over 22 years of experience in research in agricultural extension, teaching and out-reach activities. Formerly Scientist with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the Head of the HRD division of Information Kerala Mission, the flagship e- governance programme of the Government of Kerala. Now coordinates the extension functions of the Kerala Agricultural University including the activities of KVKs, with focus on building linkages with development agencies in agriculture, formulating collaborative programmes, evolving successful models of interventions at the grassroots level in association with local self-government institutions and strengthening the extension delivery mechanisms of the university. Areas of academic interest are: rural and agricultural development, development communication, democratic decentralisation, technology- society interface in agriculture and science policy.


Coconut Farming in Kerala: Prospects of Extension Interventions

Jiju P. Alex, Professor, Kerala Agricultural University

Coconut cultivation in Kerala has been steadily decreasing since the 1970s, in spite of the attempts of various agencies to promote the crop in different ways. Extension interventions in coconut farming had mostly focused on transfer of crop production technologies which included information on high yielding varieties, farming practices and plant protection. Diverse possibilities of value addition that would enhance profitability of coconut farming are not found to be widely propagated among farmers. The general decline in the economic feasibility of coconut cultivation due to dwindling prices and other factors demands greater focus on intensive and problem based extension efforts. Since coconut cultivation has got increasingly confined to marginal holdings, conventional extension interventions will have to be replaced by innovative methods that would harness resources and create synergy of multiple agencies. For instance, group based and participatory practices have proved to be effective in managing widespread pest and disease infestation in the crop. Taking cues from such initiatives, intense area based approaches to enhance the productivity of coconut could be initiated on a large scale. Establishing adequate forward and backward linkages and integrating financial resources would be important steps towards supporting the small and marginal producers. Enhancing the capability of small producers to participate in the value chain by generating local demand of new products have evolved as feasible model in different parts of the country. Successful cases of mechanisation of cultural and post-harvest operations by means of group approaches have put forward several options that can be scaled up in diverse situations. Maximising alternate means of livelihood in coconut based farming systems is another key area of intervention by the extension system. Developing new models of integration of agencies in different contexts seems to be another prospective area. While it is important to improve the existing mechanisms of extension services, new forms of delivery also have to be evolved to address diverse issues that emerge in this sector.

Dr. T.M. Thomas Isaac

Will be update soon



Dr. T.M. Thomas Isaac and Ajit Mathai

The paper aims to provide an aggregation led model for revival of the Coir sector in Kerala. This entails (1) enabling aggregation of homestead produce and services; (2) creating economically viable decentralized defibering MSMEs as a bridge between the homesteads and the industrial Coir sector; (3) extending professional shared services for the MSMEs and (4) ensuring scalability through implementation on a technology platform. The model has been demonstrated through a pilot study with Coconut producers and Coir defibering unit and is supported by secondary research. The study finds that distributed Coir fiber extraction units can be economically viable when (a) supported with steady and adequate supply of husk aggregated from the homesteads (b) provided adequate market linkage for its products and by-products and (c) operated professionally with maintenance, market linkage and working capital management shared services. The paper establishes the importance of the decentralized Coir defibering MSMEs through an economic viability analysis of the homestead which integrates with the Coir product sector.

Dr K P Sudheer

Dr K P Sudheer completed PhD in Agricultural Engineering from IARI New Delhi and Post doctorate from KU Leuven Belgium.
He started his career as scientist in Agro Processing Division, CIAE (ICAR), Bhopal and actively involved in teaching, research and extension for the last 20 years. He has many external aided research projects funded by Ministry of Food Processing Industries, ICAR, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology & Environment, Ministry of Rural Development, NABARD, Food Corporation of India, Government of Kerala.
He is presently working as Associate Director of Research, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur. He is also heading the Department of Agricultural Engineering, and RAFTAAR Agri Business Incubator of Kerala Agricultural University. He is the Project Coordinator of Centre of Excellence in Post-harvest Technology, and Food and Agricultural Process Engineering research group of KAU.
He received prestigious Normal E Borlaug Fellowship by United States Dept. of Agriculture (USA) and National fellowships for research programmes including NUFFIC Fellowship from Netherlands, VLIR- UDC fellowship from Belgium, CINADCO fellowship from Israel, ERASMUS MUNDUS Fellowship from Sweden, Krishi Vigyan Award - 2015 for the best Agricultural Scientist, from Government of Kerala, 'Bhakshyamithra Award' for the best food processing scientist for promoting food processing entrepreneurship the State and recipient of the prestigious title 'ICAR National Fellow' in 2017 for research on 'Safety and quality of Non-thermal Processed Fruits and Vegetables'. Recently he has received the Best Teacher Award in Agricultural higher education (by ICAR), Commendation Medal and Best Reviewer Award of Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers, New Delhi.

Major Five Publications

260 publications (including six text books, 175 research papers in reputed National & International journals, and proceedings of seminar/workshops and many bulletins in the field of Post-harvest Technology)

  • Sudheer K P & V Indira. 2018. Entrepreneurship & Skill Development in Horticultural Processing, New India Publishing house, Pitampura, New Delhi, India: Pages:454. (ISBN No.978-93-86546-80-7)
  • Sudheer K P, et.al.. 2019. Effect of preservatives and temperature on microbial and physico-chemical attributes of minimally processed pineapple in International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences ISSN: 2319-7706, Vol.8, No.2
  • Sudheer K P & V Indira. 2018. Entrepreneurship Development in Food Processing. New India Publishing house, Pitampura, New Delhi, India; Pages:402. (ISBN No. 978-93-86546-73-9)
  • Sudheer K P, et.al. .2012. Lycopene degradation, isomerisation and in vitro bio-accessibility in high pressure homogenized tomato puree containing oil: Effect of additional thermal and high pressure processing, Food Chemistry, Volume 135, Issue 3, Pages 1290-1297.
  • Sudheer K P, et.al.. 2013. Isomerisation of carrot ß-carotene in presence of oil during thermal and combined thermal/high pressure processing, Food Chemistry, Vol 138, Issues 2-3, Pages 1515- 1520.
Email: adrengg@kau.in & kp.sudheer@kau.in


Total Value Addition of Coconut- Potential Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

Sudheer K P, Seema B R, Sankalpa K B, Satheeshan K N & Saranya S

Coconut is one of the important fruit trees in the world, providing food for millions of people, especially in the tropical and subtropical regions. Majority of the farmers engaged in coconut cultivation mainly have small and marginal scattered holdings. This hampers the prospects of processing and value addition in coconut. Product diversification of coconut and development of value added products is very important for the sustainability of the coconut industry. This plays a crucial role in the stabilization of coconut oil driven market and is essential for reorienting and energizing the coconut industry cost effective and globally competitive. Hence, there exists a huge scope for coconut based agri-business in India. Processing and related activities can mitigate the seasonal price variation and generate income and employment opportunities for over two million people in India. It also contribute a significant amount to the national revenue and country's exports by way of export earnings. Potential of converting coconut into different emerging value added products such as desiccated coconut powder, virgin coconut oil, coconut chips, coconut milk, preserved tender nut water, neera, & coconut inflorescence sap into coconut sugar has realized in view of globalization over the traditional processed products of copra and coconut oil. Apart from the main products, the by-products obtained from this crop have many alternative uses, thus adding to the total value of the crop. Therefore, there exists vast potential for stepping up of production of non-edible value added coconut products in India. The increased utilization of coconut husk, coconut shell and wood in the coconut growing states of India provides scope for entrepreneurship development of fibre processing and charcoal/activated carbon processing sector and thereby augmenting rural employment. The promotion of such novel value addition technologies and agripreneurship offers the key for ensuring better income for the coconut farming community and for the sustainability of farming sector. Number of establishments in the organized sector are far too few compared with several developed and developing nations. The technologies adopted for processing, preservation and value addition of coconut, in medium, small and tiny industries are primitive and outdated. Government has initiated Business Incubation units to promote entrepreneurship and agro- industry which will open the vistas of incubation landscape to the micro segment of the vast rural economy. These units are powerful economic development tool to promote entrepreneurship development in coconut processing sector. They promote growth through innovation and application of technology, support economic development strategies for small business development, and encourage growth from within local economies, while also providing a mechanism for technology transfer. The components under business incubation units include mentoring support in business and technology plans, entrepreneurship cum skill development, identification of appropriate technology, hands on experience on coconut processing machineries, product development, project report preparation, marketing assistance, professional assistance to make the enterprise successful. The Business Incubation facility under Centre of Excellence in Post- Harvest Technology at Kerala Agricultural University also envisages to design agri-market-oriented development plan that seeks to improve farmers’ livelihoods. The centre had developed variety of coconut based food products and provided entrepreneurial support to several processing industries.

Dr. K.M.Sreekumar

Dr. K.M.Sreekumar was born in a farm family in Payyanur. Completed his graduation in agriculture in 1986 and post-graduation in Agrl. Entomology in 1989 from Kerala Agricultural University. Took his doctorate in biological control from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi in 1996. Worked with the Department of Agriculture, Govt. of Kerala for five years as Agricultural Officer and worked as Senior Entomologist with Biotech International Limited, New Delhi for one year. During the period he had undergone training in Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus production at VIZR, St. Petersberg, Russia. Joined as Asst. Professor with Kerala Agricultural University in 1998. Now involved in Teaching, Research and Extension activities. Published 20 research papers in national and international journals. Wrote 5 books, 7 book chapters, 50 bulletins, leaflets and popular articles. Completed 6 Research projects as Principal investigator and another 6 research projects as co- principal investigator. Functioning as resource person for handling classes / training for farmers, Kudumbasree, Farmers’ Organizations, Agricultural Officers and Agricultural Assistants on various topics such as Integrated Pest management, Bio-control of crop pests, Watershed management, Water conservation, Sustainable agricultural development etc. Conducted 60 Agroclinics in different parts of the state. Offering plant protection service to farmers and other agencies. Member of many committees such as Technical committee of the State Biological Control Laboratory, state level working group on crop health management, Expert team constituted by the Govt. of Kerala to study the alleged endosulfan issue in Kozhikode, Technical committee of MSSRF, Wayanad, Member of the expert committee to study the adverse effect of aerial spraying of Endosulphan in the Plantation Corporation estates of Kasaragod district, Multi Disciplinary Diagnostic Team for Kasaragod and Kannur districts etc.


Pests and Diseases of coconut and its management in Kerala

K.M.Sreekumar, Professor, College of Agriculture, Kerala Agricultural University, Padnekkad, Kasaragod, Kerala

In Kerala lakhs of farm families depend on coconut for their livelihood. Coconut is a major crop of Kerala covering 40% of the total cropped area. Major share (>90%) of the area is covered by West Coast Tall variety and very minor share is occupied by the other tall varieties, dwarf varieties and hybrids. Coconut is affected by many pests and diseases, some of which only debilitate the palms, but some are lethal. Some pests or diseases predispose the crop to infestation or infection by others. Major pests of coconut are Red palm weevil, Rhinoceros beetle, Black headed caterpillar, nut crinkler, root grub and eriophyid mite. Major diseases are bud rot, stem bleeding, Tanjavur wilt, leaf rot and root wilt. The incidence or prevalence of these maladies in Kannur and Kasargod districts were reported by Thamban et al., in 2015. The prevalence in Kasargod district was estimated as 8.46%, 0.15%, 0.73% and 2.23% for Rhinoceros beetle, Red palm weevil, eriophyid mite and coreid bug respectively. The prevalence of diseases were 2.38% for bud rot, 2.27% for stem bleeding and 0.62% for Tanjavur wilt. The prevalence pattern for the Kannur district was similar. The estimated loss in revenue was Rs. 150 crores per year for Kasargod district alone, which shows the importance of taking up timely control measures. Highly acidic PH, low status of potassium, calcium, magnesium and boron, and soil carbon are the soil related factors that predispose the crop to a higher incidence of pests and diseases. Coconut, being a plant with fibrous root system is highly vulnerable to the reduced status of these nutrients. Pests and diseases management practices in consonance with the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) is already developed by KAU and CPCRI, which if taken to farmers may solve the issue to a great extent, though there are limitations in case of bud rot and red palm weevil attack. In addition, high cost of labour and other constraints limit the implementation of management practices. On the research front, detailed epidemiological studies are required to elucidate the role of different factors in disease and pest incidence in different agro ecological units of the state. Integrated nutrient management practices should form the basis for prophylactic pests and disease management in any perennial crop and especially so in coconut which is the best strategy at field level.

Mr. C. H. Mohamed

Mr. C. H. Mohamed is the Managing Director of Connolly Agriculture Producer Company Pvt. Ltd. and winner of National Award (South Zone) 2012 for Coconut Development Board. An entrepreneur and agriculturalist Mr. Mohamed is a holder of Jagjivan Ram Innovative Farmer Award (2018) of ICAR. He was also awarded Karshakothama in 2009 and Karshakasree in 2008. Mr. C. H. Mohamed is also the Chairman of Poovaranthode Farms and Heritage Tours Pvt. Ltd. and Vice Chairman of Tirur Coconut Producer Company Ltd. An eminent and well-respected member with agriculture and allied industry, Mr. Mohamed holds the position of President of Vettom South Kerala Karshaka Foundation running Jaivasree Farm school, Vettathunadu Coconut Products and Jaiasree Dairy farm.


Will be update soon

Krishnanunni. K.

Krishnanunni. K. is an agriculturist and farmer. He is the proud owner of agricultural land managed with scientific knowledge and elegant innovative spirit. Winner of Karshakothama award, Mr. Krishananunni has implemented integrated farming methods. He was at the forefront of implementing drip fertigation method in Kerala. Apart from rice cultivation in his 10 acres, He is also involved in the cultivation of fish, coconut, coco, vegetables, etc. He has also done Open precision farming in 4 acres and made use of ecological engineering methods.


Will be update soon

Mr. Sunny George

Mr. Sunny George is the Chairman of Thejaswini Coconut Farmers Producer Company Ltd. which is an initiative of 30000 farmers in Kannur and Kasargod districts. Thejaswini stands for Social development activities, value addition, and farmer service activities. The Thejaswini has received various awards from different sources. The Company has received the National Entrepreneurship Award 2017 from the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India and State Award 2016 for the best farmer producer organization from NABARD. The Company has honored with a national award from ICAR- Central Plantation Crops Research Institute for the best business plan presented at a workshop held in 2018. Mr. Sunny George has received various awards and recognitions for activities in organic farming. The ‘Karshaksree’ award for the best organic farmer in the state was received from Malayala Manorama in the year 2010. He also received ‘Karshakashakthi’ award from Dist. Cooperative bank in association with NABARD. He has received an award from the Kerala State Government for the best organic farmer of the State in the year 2018.


Will be update soon

Mr. Paul Francis

Mr. Paul Francis, Managing Director of KLF Nirmal Industries (P) Ltd, is the youngest of three sons of Late Shri. K.L. Francis, an industrialist who was the Founder Managing Director of Kerala Solvent Extractions Ltd. (KSE Ltd). After completing secondary education from Montfort School, Yercaud, Mr. Paul Francis joined his father to set up a Coconut Oil Mill in a rented building at Eriyad, near Kodungalloor in 1987-88. He started Coconut Oil Mill named “KLF Oil Industries” (KLF) in 1992 in Irinjalakuda. Over the years, the factory has turned out to be a state of the art extraction and packaging unit. Under the stewardship of Mr. Paul Francis, in 2004-05, KLF set up a Mill for the manufacture of Sesame Oil (Gingelly Oil). Both Coconut Oil and Sesame Oil is marketed under the brand name of “KLF NIRMAL” which is among the top-selling brands in the country with a presence, in Kerala, Karnataka, Andra, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Orissa, MP, Delhi, Goa, etc. “KLF NIRMAL” is a well-known brand in GCC countries viz. Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, etc. It is also available in the USA, Australia & African Countries. KLF has bagged “Export Award 2004-2005” from Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry and recently “Best Miller Exporter Award for 2008” from Coconut Development board. KLF is currently a Private Limited Company called “KLF Nirmal Industries (P) Ltd”.


Will be update soon

Mr. Rajarathinam. K.

Mr. Rajarathinam. K., Proprietor of Essar Engineering has a 9 years experience in tool engineering and management, and 20 years of experience in manufacturing and installing equipments for Coconut food, Coconut shell, and Coconut husk based projects. Graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Madurai Kamaraj University, Mr.Rajarathinam. K. is well known around the world among Coconut husk based horticultural products producers and buyers. Essar engineering has installed around 600 installations in coconut growing countries like India, Srilanka, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Vanuatu, etc. Invested in 300 Ton Coconut food processing factory - Processing Coconut Milk, Virgin Coconut oil and Coconut water- in the Philippines. Owner of 1200 Coconut Tree Plantation with modern automated drip irrigation system, adapted with rainwater harvesting and natural farming. Mr. Rajarathnam’s firm has done a project for processing 2 lakh nuts a day in Visakhapatnam to process Virgin coconut oil, low-fat DC, Coconut water, etc.


Will be update soon

K.C. Sreedharan Nambiar

Director of Anjarakandy Farmers’ Service Co-operative Bank, Mr. K. C. Sreedharan Nambiar is currently monitoring the pioneer project of Malabar “Integrated Coconut Processing Plant” where Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk, Virgin Coconut Oil are produced with modern technology. Born on 25 Feb 1954 at Tellicherry, Kannur District of Kerala, Mr. K. C. Sreedharan Nambiar is the son of VP Shankaran Nambiar, a well-known contractor in erstwhile Malabar Region. Mr. K. C. Sreedharan Nambiar, joined the Department of Posts & Telegraph in 1974 and moved to Army Postal Service and continued up to 1989. In 1990 on a special assignment deputed to Embassy of India, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as Assistant Military Attache for about 4 years. On return to India took volunteer retirement, later joined the Royal Guard of Oman, Sultanate of Oman in 1996 as Admin Chief in the Protocol Division and continued there until July 2013. Mr. Sreedharan traveled throughout the country and some foreign countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, Republic of Yemen, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany on official capacity.


Will be update soon

Mr. Ananthakrishnan

Mr. Ananthakrishnan started his career as a fellow worker in a fabrication unit, then worked for Movers Pvt ltd from 1980 onwards. As a self tutored engineer and he was entrusted in the commissioning of various cement processing plants for Deccan cements and Lokapur cements in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka respectively. Ananth Dryers was formed by Ananthakrishnan in 1989 with the aim of using his expertise in Copra processing sector. Ananth Dryers are into the design, fabrication, erection, and maintenance of Coconut Processing units. Prime projects of Ananth Dryers included pants for Surya oil industries, Arikkat oil industries, and Kallamkunnnu service co-operative bank. Kallamkunnu plant was a coconut drying plant rather than a conventional copra dryer. This was commissioned successfully in 1992. The success of this plant captured the attention of Coconut Development Board and with the encouragement from coconut development board, Mr. Anandakrishnan designed and installed India’s first coconut dryer based on waste heat utilization at high-tech coconut processors in Kollam. An improved version of this plant was later then commissioned in Thiruvampady near Kozhikode. The widespread spread publicity Thiruvampady got for its copra dryer created a wave among the co-operative societies across Kerala. Many of them adopted this novel copra drying system. At present Ananth Dryers have commissioned more than 30 Coconut Processing plants of various capacities for various co-operative societies across the state. Mr. Ananthakrishnan has been recognized several times for his contribution to the field of Coconut processing by various institutions such as NABARD, DIC, and Coconut Development Board. Ongoing projects of the organization include oil plants for Venginisseri S.C.B, Nanniyode S.C.B, and Peringandoor S.C.B.


Will be update soon

Mr. M. A. Lukmanjee

Murtaza Adamjee Lukmanjee took over the reins of Adamjee Lukmanjee & Sons as Managing Director at a very early age, after his late father in 1996. He has been instrumental in the continuous growth of the company and its expansion into new products and new markets worldwide. Murtaza holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Babson University in Boston, USA. He was also Chairman of the Coconut Product Traders Association for over 10 years, the apex association representing Sri Lanka’s Coconut exports. He has been involved in various committees in an advisory capacity to shape Sri Lanka’s policy decisions on the Coconut industry. Adapting to the ever-changing demands of the industry and with continuous development in its range of traditional and value-added products, Murtaza has steered Adamjee to hold a leading position in the Coconut and Spice industries in Sri Lanka. Under his guidance, the company, now over 150 years old, has won several awards for outstanding export performance in Sri Lanka, making the Adamjee Group an establishment which exceeds a turnover of USD 50 million.


Will be update soon

Mr. Ubais Ali

Mr. Ubais Ali is the Executive Director of Mezhukkattil Mills, a Government Recognised Star Export House and Manufacturer Exporter of different grades of coconut oil, and MM Mezhukkattil Farmeto Private Limited, a company that specialises in the value-added products from coconut. A Bachelor of Technology (BTech) Computer Science Graduate and an MBA Graduate in Finance & Marketing, he had a short stint at Key Management Group (KMG) in IT consulting and business development. Belonging to the 2nd generation of Mezhukkattil, a family business group from central Kerala, the 37-year-old Ubais Ali is also the Director of Edathala Polymers Private Limited, a rubber processing company, and the Vice President of Kerala coconut Oil Manufacturers Association (KCMA). A technocrat with in-depth knowledge in the latest processing technologies and coconut oil standards and specifications, Ubais Ali was a delegate in World Coconut Congress (WCC) in the Philippines and International Conference on Coconut Oil (ICCO) in Thailand. And during the visit of Malaysian Prime Minister in India, he signed an MOU with a Malaysian company for collaboration in the coconut sector. With two patent applications under process in the name of Ubais Ali, his company today handles around 22 international brands in Private Labelling segment.


Will be update soon

Malappattam Prabhakaran

Born in 1950 at Malappattam village in Kannur district, Mr.Malappattam Prabhakaran is a well-known author of works on agriculture. He started his career as Agricultural Demonstrator in 1976, retired from the service as Assistant Agricultural Officer in 2005. He has been writing about agriculture from 1983 onwards, starting with Malayalam daily Deshabhimani Mr. Prabhakaran in Mathrubhumi and other journals. In his role as an agricultural writer, Mr. Prabhakaran wrote more than 1500 articles on the topic to date. In 2011, Mr. Prabhakaran was awarded the "Media Award on Agriculture". He was also the chairperson of Irikkur block panchayat during standing committee on development issues. Later he also worked as the KILA resource person. Mr. Malapattam Prabhakaran continues to engage himself in the propagation of knowledge on agriculture.


Will be update soon

Jijo Paul

Jijo Paul is a startup entrepreneur based in Cochin, Kerala. He did his master’s in electrical engineering. He currently serves as the CEO of Resnova technologies. The company specializes in developing innovative solutions to address the problems of common man with the aid of technology. Jijo was also recognized at various national and international forums for his achievements in the area of Robotics, Electronics, innovations etc. Being a hardcore techie, he puts his focus on solving the problems in Agriculture & Industry with the aid of cutting-edge technology. Advanced tagging system to ensure quality & source of planting material, Dairy management system for detecting diseases in cattle, Detection system for red palm weevil infestation etc. are some of his noteworthy projects in these lines. His main areas of interest are Internet of Things (IoT), Technology in Agriculture, Robotics etc.


Will be update soon

Dominic M. M.

Mr. Dominic M. M. is a well-respected member of the farming community. His work has earned him multiple awards and recognitions. He won the national award for the best coconut farmer for years 2014-16 for his outstanding performance and contribution to the field. He is also the winner of Karshakothama award in the year 2014-15. Mr. Dominic also holds the Kerakesari award, a state agriculture award, for the year 2009-10.


Will be update soon

O.V.R. Somasundaram

O.V.R. Somasundaram is a leading planter cultivating coconut and other plantation crops like nutmeg, cocoa, pepper under mixed cropping system in his farm at Odaiyakulam village near Pollachi. He is rendering service to the farmers by sourcing them the best progeny planting material of coconut, nutmeg, and pepper. A botany graduate from Madras Christain College, Mr. Somasundaram's major achievements include controlling measures taken during the outbreak of coconut leaf-eating caterpillar Turnaca acuta in Kinnathukadavu area with the help and guidance of TNAU, CPCRI, CDB, Department of Agriculture Tamilnadu, and farmer friends in the year 1996. Two years later, in 1998, Mr. Somasundaram identified for the first time the outbreak of coconut Eriophyid mite in the Pollachi with the help of Dr. Mohanasundaram, Retired Entomologist of TNAU and on testing of nearly 30 types of pesticides suggested control measures to the District Collector, Coimbatore district. Later TNAU came up with the same as one of the recommended control measures.

Mr. Somasundaram was awarded 'Best Coconut Grower of Tamilnadu' in 1991 by CPCRI, Kasargod. He also won 'Velanmai Chemmal Award' in 2005 by TNAU.

O.V.R. Somasundaram has held positions including Member, Advisory Committee, Doordarshan Kendra Chennai; Member, Research Advisory Group, Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Coimbatore; Member of the drafting committee of Tamil Nadu Organic Farming Policy. He has also served as Member, Board of Management, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore; Member, Regional Research Council, TNAU; Research Council Member, Coconut Development Board, Kochi; Member, Appeal Committee for Organic Certification, Government of Tamil Nadu; Member, Tamil Nadu Forest Department Advisory Committee; Honorary Tree warden, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary.


Will be update soon

Mr. Raam Mohan

Raam Mohan is a passionate agriculturist with a Masters in Enterprise and Business Growth from University of Glasgow and B.E from KCT, Coimbatore. After coming back from the UK in 2013, he joined the Operations team of Umapathy Farms with the belief that consumers deserve nothing but the best. Growing up in an agrarian family, he has always been passionate about bringing fresh, healthy and natural food alternatives to the consumer.
In 2015 he was appointed as the MD of Umapathy Farms and was the first one to leverage technology, by bringing software solutions to breeding and barcoding for coconut seedlings. Umapathy Farm’s Ram Ganga is now the best performing hybrid coconut in India with over 10,000 satisfied farmers.
His vision and the growing demand for healthy and natural food products led him to expand the business and set up Farm Made Foods in 2015, which is now the leading coconut sugar manufacturer in the country. Raam Mohan has worked closely with CPCRI and CDB and has been awarded for Outstanding Achievements and Innovations in Coconut Farming and has also been recognized for Innovation in Coconut Industry.


Will be update soon

View All
  • VENUE : The Gateway Hotel, Kozhikode
Inaugural Session
Venue: Vasco da Gama Hall
Welcome and Presidential Address Shri E P Jayarajan, Minister for Industries, Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of Kerala
Presenting the Theme of the Conference Dr V K Ramachandran, Vice Chairperson, Kerala State Planning Board
Inaugural Address Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister, Government of Kerala
Video Message Dr M S Swaminathan, Founder Chairman, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai
Keynote Address Dr Uron N Salum, Executive Director, International Coconut Community, Indonesia
Special Address Dr T M Thomas Isaac, Minister for Finance and Coir, Government of Kerala
Special Address Shri V S Sunil Kumar, Minister for Agriculture, Government of Kerala
Special Address Shri M K Raghavan, Member of Parliament, Kozhikode
Special Address Shri Pradeep Kumar,Member of Legislative Assembly,Kozhikode
Special Address Ms G Jayalakshmi IAS, Chairperson, Coconut Development Board, Kochi
Vote of Thanks Dr A Jayathilak IAS, Member Secretary, Kerala State Planning Board and Principal Secretary, Department of Planning and Economic Affairs, Government of Kerala
Tea Break
Plenary Session-I: International Experience  Chair:Ms G Jayalakshmi IAS, Chairperson, Coconut Development Board, Kochi
Venue: Vasco da Gama Hall
Current Coconut Processing Technology and Coconut Products of China Dr Qiuyu Xia, Head, Centre for Product Processing Research, Coconut Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, China
Philippine Coconut Industry Strategic S&T Programme – Reinvigorating the Productivity of the Tree of Life Dr Edna A Anit, Officer in Charge, Crops Research Division, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resource Research and Development, The Philippines
Policies and Programmes for Sustained Development in the Coconut Sector in Malaysia Mr Sentoor Kumeran Govindasamy, Senior Scientist, Plant Breeding Industrial Crop Program, Crops and Soil Science Research Center, Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Malaysia
Policies and Programmes for Sustained Development in the Coconut Sector in Indonesia Dr Normansyah Syahruddin, Deputy Director for Market Development for Estate Crops Products, Directorate General for Estate Crop Jakarta, Indonesia
Plenary Session-II: Kerala Scenario  Chair: Dr K Ellangovan IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Industries and Commerce, Government of Kerala
Venue: Vasco da Gama Hall
Status Paper on Coconut Sector in Kerala Mr D K Singh IAS, Additional Chief Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner, Government of Kerala
Facilitating Industrial Investment in Coconut Sector in Kerala Mr Sanjay M Kaul IAS, Managing Director, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation
Position Paper on Coconut Production in Kerala Dr R Ramakumar, Member, Kerala State Planning Board, Government of Kerala
Mr S S Nagesh, Chief, Agriculture Division, Kerala State Planning Board
Position Paper on Value Addition in Coconut in Kerala Dr Jayan Jose Thomas, Member, Kerala State Planning Board, Government of Kerala
Coconut Sector of Kerala: Experiencing the Dynamics of Trade Agreements and Price Volatility Dr Jayasekhar S, Senior Scientist, Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod
Tea Break
Plenary Session-III: Coir
Venue: Vasco da Gama Hall
A Renewed Agenda for Coir in Kerala Dr T M Thomas Isaac, Minister for Finance and Coir, Government of Kerala (with Mr AjitMathai)
Guided Tour of the Exhibition
  • VENUE : The Gateway Hotel, Kozhikode
Parallel Session-I: Industrial Investment and Value Addition Chair:Dr Jayan Jose Thomas, Member, Kerala State Planning Board
Venue: Vasco da Gama Hall A
Decisive Factors in Becoming a Sustainable Growing Branch of the Economy for Commercial Coconut Trade Ms Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh, President, Vietnam Coconut Association, Vietnam
Processing and Value Addition of Coconut in Thailand Mrs Peyanoot Naka, Vice Chairperson, Conservation and Development of Coconut Oil of Thailand forum (CDCOT), Thailand
Global Market Trends and Processing Solutions for Coconut Beverages Mr V Anandkumar, Senior Manager, System Sales, South India and Sri Lanka, Category Manager, Prepared Food, SAM, Tetra Pak India Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore
Innovative Technologies for Coconut Processing Dr K S M S Raghavarao, Chief Scientist, Department of Food Engineering, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru
Technological Innovations in Food Processing for Creation of Value Added Coconut Products Shri R K Sharma, Former Director, Defence Food Research Laboratory, Mysuru and Vice Chancellor,Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Chennai
Tea Break
Chair: Dr Jayan Jose Thomas, Member, Kerala State Planning Board
Total Value Addition of Coconut- Potential Opportunities for Entrepreneurs Dr K P Sudheer, Professor and Head, Department of Agricultural Engineering, College of Horticulture, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur
Novel Products of ICAR-CPCRI to Turn Coconut Farmer into an Entrepreneur Dr K B Hebbar, Principal Scientist (Plant Physiology) and Acting Head, PB & PHT, Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod
Coconut Oil and India’s International Agricultural Trade Issues Dr James J Nedumpara, Professor and Head, Centre for International Trade and Investment Law (CTIL), Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, New Delhi
Coconut as a Functional Food: Significance in the Blooming Nutraceutical Market Dr Anandharamakrishnan, Director, Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, Tamil Nadu
Parallel Session-II: Prospects for Productivity and Profitability Chair: Dr K Ravi Raman, Member, Kerala State Planning Board
Venue: Red Lounge
What Coconut Development Board can do to put Kerala on a Sustained Growth Path in Production and Value-Addition in Coconut Ms G Jayalakshmi IAS, Chairperson, Coconut Development Board, Kochi
Coconut Improvement: Tissue Culture Techniques for the Collection, Conservation and Multiplication of Elite Germplasm Dr Steve W Adkins, Professor, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University of Queensland, Australia
Success in Coconut Tissue Culture in Sri Lanka Dr Vijitha R M Vidhanaarachchi, Head, Tissue Culture Division, Coconut Research Institute, Sri Lanka
Strategy for Planting Material Production in Coconut Dr Regi Jacob Thomas, Principal Scientist, Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kayamkulam
Importance of Germplasm and the International Coconut Genebank Dr V Niral, Principal Scientist, Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod
Tea Break
Chair: Dr R Ramakumar, Member, Kerala State Planning Board
Management of Weligama Coconut Leaf Wilt Disease: Sri Lankan Experience Dr Priyanthie Fernando, Director, Coconut Research Institute, Sri Lanka
Income Enhancement from Coconut Farming: Status and Approaches Dr C Thamban, Principal Scientist, Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod
Coconut-Based Farming in the Homesteads of Kerala Dr Jacob John, Head, Integrated Farming System Research Centre, Kerala Agricultural University, Karamana
Parallel Session-III: Challenges and Opportunities in Coconut Sector Chair: Dr C Bhaskaran, Professor (Retd.), Kerala Agricultural University
Venue: Beypore Hall
What Kerala Agricultural University can do to put Kerala on a Sustained Growth Path in Production and Value-Addition in Coconut Dr R Chandra Babu, Vice Chancellor, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur
Reviving Coconut Sector in Kerala: Prospects and Perspectives Dr Anita Karun, Acting Director, Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod
Coconut Farming in Kerala: Problems and Prospects in the Field of Extension Dr Jiju P Alex, Director, Extension, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur
Irrigation Management in Coconut Plantation Dr Ravi Bhat, Head, Crop Production, Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod
Soil Related Constraints to Coconut Production in Kerala Dr K M Nair, Principal Scientist (Retd.), National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Bangalore
Tea Break
Chair: Mr S S Nagesh, Chief, Agriculture Division, Kerala State Planning Board
Pests and Diseases of Coconut and Its Management in Kerala Dr K M Sreekumar, Professor and Head, Department of Entomology, Kerala Agricultural University, Kasaragod
Development Schemes Implemented by the Department of Agriculture Development and Farmers Welfare and its Key Deliverables Ms Mary Thomas, Additional Director (Crop), Department of Agriculture Development and Farmers Welfare, Government of Kerala
Women Empowerment through Coconut-Based Micro Enterprises Ms Liji E M, Director, Subhicsha, Kozhikode and
Mr M Kunhammad Master, Chairperson,Subhicsha, Kozhikode
Presentations by 3 Award Winners of “National Coconut Challenge”3 Award Winners
Parallel Session-I:Experience Sharing on Coconut Farming Chair: Shri K Krishnankutty, Minister for Water Resources, Government of Kerala
Venue: Red Lounge
SpeakersMr OVR Somasundaram
Mr Raam Mohan
Mr James Mathew MLA
Mr Bhasker Reddy
Mr M M Dominic
Mr CM Muhammad
Mr K Krishnanunni
Mr Malappattam Prabhakaran
Mr James E S
Ms Sudharma
Tea Break
Parallel Session-II: Experience Sharing on Value Addition and Industrial Production Chair: Shri Saradindu Das, Chief Coconut Development Officer, Coconut Development Board
Venue: Beypore Hall
SpeakersMr Paul Francis, Managing Director, KLF Nirmal
Mr Ubais Ali, Executive Director, Mezhukkatil Mills
Mr Jijo Paul, Resnova Technologies
Mr Rajarathinam, Essar Engineering , Coimbatore
Mr K C SreedaranNambiar, Anjarakandi Farmers’ Co-operative Society
Mr Anandhakrishnan, Managing Partner,Ananth Dryers
Mr MurtazaLukmanjee, Managing Director, AdamjeeLukmanjee and Sons (Pvt) Ltd
Ms Afsath K P, A+ Coconut Oil Unit
Mr K S Sanjeev, President, Coir Shippers Council
Mr Vinod Kumar P, Chairperson, Palakkad CPC
Mr Sunny George, Chairperson, Thejaswini CPC
Prof Sasindran E, Chairperson, Vadakara CPC
Tea Break
Concluding Session
Venue: Vasco da Gama Hall
Report on National Coconut Challenge and Prize Distribution to Winners Dr Saji Gopinath, Chief Executive Officer, Startup Mission, Government of Kerala
Summary on Production and Productivity Dr R Ramakumar, Member, Kerala State Planning Board
Summary on Value Addition in Coconut Dr Jayan Jose Thomas, Member, Kerala State Planning Board
Way Forward Dr V K Ramachandran, Vice Chairperson, Kerala State Planning Board
Felicitation Dr T M Thomas Isaac, Minister for Finance and Coir, Government of Kerala
Felicitation Shri V S Sunil Kumar, Minister for Agriculture, Government of Kerala
Felicitation Shri K Krishnankutty, Minister for Water Resources, Government of Kerala
Concluding Remarks Shri E P Jayarajan, Minister for Industries, Sports, and Youth Affairs, Government of Kerala
Vote of Thanks Dr K Ellangovan IAS, Principal Secretary Department of Industries and Commerce, Government of Kerala
Programme Schedule is subject to change.
National Coconut Challenge 2019

Kerala State Industries Development Corporation (KSIDC), Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), and State Planning Board are jointly organising a National Coconut Challenge as part of the International Conference & Exposition on coconut scheduled on November 2 and 3, 2019. The event is to be held at The Gateway Hotel, Kozhikode.

The Challenge seeks to foster ideas and innovations in the coconut sector (including coconut farming, marketing, process improvement, etc.). The Challenge will be a unique opportunity for startups, innovators, individuals, and students to showcase their idea or prototype in the conference. It will also enable them to get mentoring and funding support from various government agencies to carry their ideas forward.


The exposition will offer a platform for processors, manufacturers, suppliers, fabricators, and entrepreneurs in Coconut sector both at national and international level to showcase their products and services.

The exposition will also display the best practices being followed in this sector, technologies and innovations that could be further scaled up and will also serve as a Business-to-Business Meet (B2B) for local buyers as well as national and international buyers, processors, and suppliers.

By bridging the gap between buyers and sellers the exposition will be a platform for expansion of trade and business in the industry

In addition to industrial representatives, Government and semi-Government intuitions as well as educational/research institutions in the coconut sector, such as The Coconut Development Board (CDB), Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) and the Kerala Agriculture University (KAU) will exhibit their services in the Exposition.

The Exposition will be open to public from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm on November 2 and 3, 2019

Who Should Register

  • Coir based industries
  • Coconut based industries
  • Techology providers
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Service providers
  • Research institutions
Register for Exposition
Advisory Committee
Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala
Shri Pinarayi Vijayan
Chief Minister of Kerala
  • Shri E P Jayarajan, Minister for Industries, Sports and Youth Affairs
    Shri E P Jayarajan
    Minister for Industries, Sports and Youth Affairs
  • Dr T M Thomas Isaac, Minister for Finance and Coir
    Dr T M Thomas Isaac
    Minister for Finance and Coir
  • Adv V S Sunil Kumar, Minister for Agriculture
    Adv V S Sunil Kumar
    Minister for Agriculture
  • Dr V K Ramachandran, Vice Chairperson,  State Planning Board
    Dr V K Ramachandran
    Vice Chairperson, State Planning Board
  • Shri Tom Jose IAS, Chief Secretary,  Government of Kerala
    Shri Tom Jose IAS
    Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala
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Location Map
The Gateway Hotel, Kozhikode
Contact us
For Exposition
Shri.Rajesh Jacob
Asst. General Manager
Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation ( KSIDC )
2nd Floor ,Choice Towers,
Manorama Junction,Kochi
Kerala, India
For Conference
Er Joy N R
Chief (Industry & Infrastructure Division)
Kerala State Planning Board,
Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram 695004,
Kerala, India
Mobile - +91 944 6050 543