Kochi, May 12:
While coconut yield in major producer states like Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka is showing a decline, the export of coconut and coconut products from the country in the last fiscal touched a record high of Rs.1,312.38 crore.
A report prepared by V.C. Vasanthakumar of the Coconut Development Board (CDB) says there has been a 13.5 percent growth in exports as compared to the 2013-14 figures.
According to the CDB’s estimates for 2014-15, the coconut production in the country is expected at 20,000 million nuts, a drop of 10 percent compared to 2013-14.
Among various coconut products, the share of activated carbon alone in the exports accounted for Rs.557.80 crore.
The primary raw material used for activated carbon is any organic material with a high carbon content, and coconut shell is one such product that has now started fetching good money.
Exported dry coconut accounted for Rs.194 crore followed by coconut oil Rs.147.07 crore, and other fresh, dried, shredded and frozen products accounted for Rs.135.84 crore.
Export of dry coconut to Pakistan accounted for Rs.183.06 crore.
The report pointed out that during the last fiscal, India imported coconut products worth Rs.421.66 crore, including products like coconut fatty acid, copra, expeller cake and coconut oil.
During the period, domestic price of coconut oil continued to remain high over the international prices, said the report.
Speaking to IANS, CDB chairman T.K. Jose said for the past few years this has been the trend in exports, and the need of the hour is to increase the production of coconuts and make value addition to it.
“What has to happen with immediate effect is there should be value addition, especially in the production of coconut fatty acids, coconut cream and milk products. Today, these products are imported. If this happens, there will be a huge surge in exports,” said Jose.
Vasanthakumar added that the exports of coconut and coconut products will be higher this year as the export of virgin coconut oil is expected to rise from 815 tonnes in the last fiscal to over 2,000 tonnes. (IANS)