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Coconut Production And Productivity

World production of coconut during the year 1997 is estimated at 52,915 million nuts from an area of 12 million hectares. Nearly three fourth (73.3%) of the world production is from India, Indonesia and Philippines. Sri Lanka with about 4.97% of the production occupies fourth position. Taking 1961 as the base year the growth over the period (1961-97) in area has been 146.7% and 101.67% in production. But there has been a declining trend in productivity in spite of tremendous advancement made in coconut research. Among major producing countries, Thailand and India have recorded excellent growth in production during the last decades. In the early nineties, India ranked third in the world in area and production among 86 coconut growmg countries. The latest estimation for 1997 indicates that India has achieved first position in area (L88m/ha.) production (12.990 m nuts) and productivity (6,886 nuts/ha.). Availability of high yielding varieties and hybrids, identifying optimum dosage of fertilizers and water requirement under different agro-climatic regions, management of important pests and diseases and developmg a protocol for field collection, transportation and culturing of coconut embryos are the major technological breakthroughs achieved in promoting coconut culture. Various production constraints identified, include failure to effectively manage diseases like root (wilt), lethal yellowing, cadang cadang, Ganoderma wilt and stem bleeding, non availability of adequate planting materials in improved varieties, general neglect of home stead garden where coconut is a major component crop, lack of effective 1PM technology for major pests, lack of specific input technologies to suit small holdings and different farming situations and effective developmental strategies to rejuvenate and rehabilitate existing poor yielding coconut plantations. Strategies and recommendations for improving production and productivity are discussed.

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