Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit
2nd September was celebrated as World Coconut Day in order to make people understand that this crop has a vital role in poverty reduction and to provide nutritional and health security, which are the prime need of this hour. People across the globe acknowledge the importance of the oft life saving drink by celebrating the World Coconut Day. Coconut is a rich source of Laurie acid and electrolytes, coconuts contain many antioxidants and are also antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. There are about 140 different products that can be made out of coconuts, which have worldwide demand. India is third in area under coconut cultivation next to Indonesia and Philippines, our production are highest. In India, 12 million people are dependent on coconut farming for their livelihood and the contribution of the coconut farming sector to the GDP of the country is around Rs 10,000 Cr. According to experts, India stands first in production and productivity of coconut in the world and third in the area of cultivation. Andhra Pradesh, where coconut is cultivated in an area of 1.025 lakh hectares with an annual production of 1,678 million nuts, stands first in productivity and the scope for expansion is immense.
On World Coconut Day, the importance of this tree is to be propagated. As a primal symbol of creation, the coconut is truly a symbolism of selfless sacrifice. Rightly called as the “Tree of life”, every part of the coconut tree can be used. The coconut is also imbued with medicinal qualities. Being an eco-friendly crop it facilitates sustainable development. Coconut tree, fame for being the tree of life, has proven much worth because of its parts. These are used for everyday life: the tree itself produces timber, the shell of the fruit becomes plaiting and thatch, the hardened liquid serves as meat of the fruit, and the liquid as drink – often may be mixed with alcoholic beverages or sugar syrup. The coconut industry is to be made more competitive by increasing productivity with better management, organic recycling, replanting and also by adopting an integrated farming system coupled with community processing, product diversification, value-addition and by-product utilization. Coconut is regarded as a life-giving fruit for its amazing properties. Coconut products add a scrumptious creaminess to any drink or dish. A smoothie takes on a tropical flair, while even the simplest curry gets depth from coconut milk. Coconut reduces obesity. The fat in it reduces the bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol, thereby benefiting the over-all health of a person. Some people enjoy drinking tender coconut water while a few others enjoy the cream. A good coconut can give you more than 1 glass of water. It shelters the body from deadly diseases and boosts the metabolism level, thereby extracting excess weight from the body. Moreover, coconut proves to be beneficial in relieving constipation as the fiber in it assists in digestion. Coconut milk is rich in iron and phosphorus which helps in building strong bones and preventing anemia. Coconut oil is also useful in treating malnutrition as it improves the absorption of minerals and vitamins. It is a good option to subside your hunger quickly as it provides abundant energy and makes you feel full. There are great opportunities and potential for production, processing and marketing of value added products of coconut.
Coconut is described as “Tree of Life” or ‘Heavenly Tree” because of its unique property by providing food, nutrition, drink, health, aesthetic sense, building material and other useful household material. On this “World Coconut Day”, Let us create awareness about the importance of coconut and its potential in eradicating poverty and promoting the development. Let us share the importance of this tree by making aware its intrinsic value in the life of mankind. Coconut production is an alternative method of food production as well as employment generation.