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Challanges Facing The Coconut Industry

Coconut continues to be an important crop that provides food and income security to millions of resource-poor farmers across fifty six countries. Despite substantial generation of technologies relating to production of this multipurpose crop and associated farming systems, there has been no discernable improvement in productivity and farmer incomes have in fact decreased in real terms over the years. This Is largely due to poor adoption of technologies, and some technologies not meeting the farmers needs. Meanwhile, many pests and diseases across the world cause serious damage lo the crops with several lethal diseases and insects doing so in alarming proportions There have also been no substantial new development in value added products, bulk of the trade being confined to the traditional products To breed productive, farmer-preferred varieties, develop control methods for several devastating  pets and diseases, and to add value for increasing income arc enormous challenges. To move the available technologies to farmers, competitively expand markets for traditional products and cater lo emerging sophisticated nitch market such as the organic products market are equally difficult. The traditional coconut products will continue to account for bulk of the coconut trade in the foreseeable future. Understanding the properties of coconut better is vitaily important for improving the quality of existing products and to make new products with a market demand. Establishment of strong international R&D initiatives that will eventually evolve in to 'centres of excellence' for the more demanding subjects such as clonal propagation, pest and disease control, coconut processing and value addition are exceedingly important to meet the challenges of the industry as national institutions lack the capacity and resources in the requisite magnitude.

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