The Top 5 Coconut Producing Countries


  Country Coconut Production 2012
(metric tonnes)
% of World Total
1
Indonesia 18,000,000 m/t 30.0%
2
Philippines 15,862,386 m/t 26.4%
3
India 10,560,000 m/t 17.0%
4
Brazil 2,888,532 m/t 4.8%
5
Sri Lanka 2,000,000 m/t 3.3%
Sources:  FAOSTAT data, 2014 (last accessed by Top 5 of Anything: January 2014).
List Notes: Coconut production is in metric tonnes (m/t) for the year 2012 (latest year for which statistics are available as of Jan 2014). This top 5 list may include official, semi-official or estimated data gathered by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
  
  1. The coconut palm tree (Cocos nucifera) is found throughout the tropics, where it is interwoven into the lives of the local people. It is particularly important in the low islands of the Pacific where, in the absence of land-based natural resources, it provides almost all the necessities of life: food, drink, oil, medicine, fiber, timber, thatch, mats, fuel, and domestic utensils. For good reason, it has been called the “tree of heaven” and “tree of life.” Today it remains an important economic and subsistence crop in many small Pacific island states. (a).
  2. As a commercial crop, the long period from planting to full bearing has discouraged planting. The price of the primary product, copra (dried coconut kernel), is subject to world commodity markets, and the present price for copra has been depressed in the face of competition from other vegetable oils. (a.)
  3. The market for copra and coconut oil is worldwide. All large and medium-sized producers including PNG, Solomon Islands, and Samoa have oil mills and export mainly the oil. World exports of coconut oil in 2002 was 1822 million mt (2 million t) compared to only 0.160 mt (0.176 t) of copra exported. Desiccated coconut production is dominated by the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. Pacific island states suffer the disadvantage of being small, isolated producers far from the major markets in Europe and the USA. However, organizations such as the EU provide assistance in the form preferential tariffs to imports from the Pacific islands as well as price support. (a.)
  4. The primary coconut products traded internationally are derived from the fruit: copra and desiccated coconut, coconut cream and protein, whole mature nuts, coir, and activated carbon from shells. Young drinking nuts, coconut water (fresh, canned or frozen), and palm sugar are important in local economies and have a ready market in developed countries with large Asian populations. The other primary products in local economies include shell charcoal, mature nuts for cooking and food uses, brooms, ropes, and coconut shell products, some of which may find niche markets overseas. For many Pacific island states, copra and its by-product, copra press cake, are the only important exports. (a.)
  5. One of the most useful plants, coconut provides numerous products commonly used in households. Perhaps the most common product in the Pacific is coconut milk (or cream) which is extracted from the freshly grated endosperm of the mature fruit. The water from the nut cavity of young nuts is a wonderful drink that is aseptic in healthy fruits. Eighteen to twenty-four coconut palms in their prime could provide one person with a daily supply of pure drinking water when consumed at a rate of three drinking nuts per day. (a.)
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. Chan, E., Elevitch, C. (2006) Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry. Retrieved April 11th, 2012.
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