The future of coconuts

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Basil (second from right) at the inaugural National Coconut Festival.

TODAY, the top coconut suppliers are struggling to meet the increasing demands of the global economy. Coconut has been a cash crop for decades and, even with stiff competition from other vegetable oils, it promises to continue to be a profitable venture in the future.
Nonetheless, the top global coconut producers must learn from the current situation, and take steps to ensure that their farms are sustainable enough to stand the tests of time and meet future demands.
“Fair Trade” practices in the industry try to ensure that the benefits of the booming sector will trickle all of the way down to small farmers, but they unfortunately keep the production rates rising at a slower rate. Lack of investment in sustaining the coconut-growing land’s productivity, largely due to the high costs associated, mean that some farms are producing 75 per cent less fruit than they did 30 years ago.
The problem of insufficient supply to meet the increased demand is not helped by the fact that many of the trees producing coconuts today are over 50 years old, 20 years past their prime production years.
According to the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community, many plantations across Asia are experiencing zero growth, and some are even ceasing production as their farmers switch their focus to oil palm production.
– worldatlas

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