Coconut is a widely known plantation crop of India and it is found in almost all parts of India. Coconut has historical significance and it is also known as Kalpataru, due to its wide usage starting from; kernel to coir, every part of the coconut is usable.
Copra is one of the value added product obtained after drying up of excess water from the kernel. Copra yields more oil compare to non-dried or fresh kernel. Copra sales in higher prices compare to fresh nut. Tender coconut is famous for its rejuvenating water and it is quite popular during summer season.
Coconut has lots of industrial usage especially in toiletry industries for hair oil and many other products. In addition, coconut oil is also used as edible oil in south India.
One of the subsidiary sectors that come up around coconut growing belts is Coir industry; states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu have well set up coir based industries utilizing the coconut by products.
Major Coconut growing belts of India
In India, southern states have the distinction to produce maximum coconut due to large scale plantation of coconut. The farmers from states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are expert in growing Coconut in large and economic scale.
In south India, coconut and areca nut plantation is inter cropped with cocoa another profitable crop very successfully for increasing the farm income.
Coconut cultivation in Tripura
Tripura is suitable for coconut cultivation due to suitable climatic condition. For successful cultivation and growth of coconut palm, required rainfall and temperature prevails in the state.
In Tripura coconut is highly acceptable and adored by all due to its different usages. Coconut palm could be found in almost all house holds of Tripura.
It is unfortunate that coconut, one of the important profitable crops is not cultivated in large scale in Tripura. It is mystified in the homestead land only for meeting the family requirement.
This trend has never given any economic viability to the growers and the crop remains in the subsistence mode.
Scope for expansion
People of the state are well aware of the coconut and its importance. People of the state are also well aware of the techniques of coconut cultivation and maintenance of coconut palm.
But, what they fail to realize its Economic viability and profitability from coconut plantation. The reason is simple; they never ever felt the need to go for large scale plantation and taste the economic viability and profitability. Moreover, the knowledge of inter crop may be developed in the mind of people of Tripura.
The department of agriculture has been constantly pursuing to spread the coconut plantation in the state and in that drive they supply coconut seedlings to the farmers but coconut plantation is yet come up in unit scale in Tripura.
Since the crop is cultivated in almost all homestead land of a family, there is no cry for demands. It is during the festival seasons; there are demands for coconut by the people of the state.
Coconut could be the next wonder crop in Tripura and it needs to be the requirement being the right approach with right mindset. The right mind set is expected with good and exemplary works by the concerned department.
People have the knowledge, they have to be shown the door of further progress and it is possible with effective training and exposure.
Agritangkol dated 22.11.2011 at 7.00 P.M