The long and strong coconut tree has been an essential flora in many cultures all around the world. Every part of the tree, from top to bottom, has a purpose and these were discovered by the early man living near them.
Though the fruit was difficult to harvest at first due to the height to which the tree grows, humans eventually found ways to harvest the fruit successfully. The leaves were used for shelter, the husk of the dried coconut as fire fodder, water to parch thirst and the milky insides as food; this magnificent tree has been called the tree which provides all necessities of life.
Even though civilisation has made huge developments in technology and way of life, one still could not live without this natural resource. Coconut plantations have a huge market out there, especially in the tropical regions where this tree is famous. Following are the top 10 largest coconut producing countries in the world in 2018.
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- 10. Malaysia (646, 932 tons of coconut products)
- 9. Thailand (1,010, 000 tons of coconut products)
- 8. Mexico (1, 064, 400 tons of coconut products)
- 7. Papua New Guinea (1, 200, 000 tons of coconut products)
- 6. Vietnam (1, 303, 882 tons of coconut products)
- 5. Sri Lanka (2, 513, 000 tons of coconut products)
- 4. Brazil (2,890,286 tons of coconut products)
- 3. India (11, 930, 000 tons of coconut products)
- 2. Philippines (15, 353, 200 tons of coconut products)
- 1. Indonesia (18, 300, 000 tons of coconut products)
10. Malaysia (646, 932 tons of coconut products)
Malaysia is situated on the southeastern side of Asia and is famously known for its ‘Malaysia truly Asia’ tourism campaign. Agriculture in this colorful country makes up to 12% of the nations GDP and about 16% of the population is somehow involved in this sector. They saw a rise in the area used for coconut plantation in 1984 and then a gradual decrease in 1995, and yet remains one of the main exporters of coconut in the world. In 2009, a council sat down to rectify this decrease in production by motivating the government to look into the recent technological developments in coconut plantation and harvest.
9. Thailand (1,010, 000 tons of coconut products)
Even though Thailand is mainly known for its rice plantations, which takes up 60% of its total farmer’s, coconut is still an important crop to them which contributes heavily to its economy.
8. Mexico (1, 064, 400 tons of coconut products)
Even though it doesn’t make much now, agriculture was once a historically and politically significant part of Mexico’s economy which should not come as a surprise once you realise it is known as the cradle of human agriculture. With the help of companies like A de Coco, a leading brand in coconut production in Mexico, the country has seen an increase in demand for coconut goods, especially coconut water. This rapid increase in demand has caused the companies to increase their plantation areas, in effect creating more jobs and benefiting the countries revenue.
7. Papua New Guinea (1, 200, 000 tons of coconut products)
This small oceanic country found stones skip north of Australia must have a lot of plantations in order to be so high on this list. Their main coconut product that they export is called copra, which is a completely dried up version of a coconut, devoid of all water and only contained a little bit of oil in it. Though the early plantations were created by the German colonists, the Copra Marketing Board took over the responsibility in 1985.
6. Vietnam (1, 303, 882 tons of coconut products)
Every Asian country has realised the importance of coconut trees and made it their primary economical crop. Vietnam, the easternmost country of the Indochina Peninsula, is no different. The Mekong Delta and central coast have been known to be the main regions of the heavy coconut plantation. Since the dwindling forest coverage has put a complete ban to log exports, the plans to increase coconut plantation area will only help fill the space created in their annual GDP and create jobs.
5. Sri Lanka (2, 513, 000 tons of coconut products)
Though rice is one of the major plantations in Sri Lanka, 12% of the total agricultural production is coconuts. The main coconut product that this nation is famous for is desiccated coconut (grounded and shredded coconut) and brown fiber which it holds first place for the export of. There are three government bodies which look over the production and export of coconut. The reason they have remained in the top 5 is the strict stringent rules they follow in order to produce the best product.
4. Brazil (2,890,286 tons of coconut products)
In the agriculture department, the land of Pele and Carnival are already top producers of sugar, coffee, and cotton. It is time to add coconut to the list too. Coconut plantation is mainly important to the economy of the northern and northeastern farmers of Brazil. The main coconut product they export is the water from green coconuts and meat of the mature nut. The first coconut trees in Brazil were brought by Portuguese settlers in the 16th century.
3. India (11, 930, 000 tons of coconut products)
Since the beginning of civilisation, India’s diverse soil has made it the central hub of agriculture for centuries. Agriculture has been a major contributor to the country’s GDP rice, sugar, and textile being the primary crops w export. Coconut is also a primary crop to India, mainly grown in the southern coastal states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Goa to name a few. Cooking coconut oil and for hair products is very famous from this region.
2. Philippines (15, 353, 200 tons of coconut products)
30.4% of the total workforce in the Philippines is employed in the agriculture sector. Of this total workforce, about 25 to 33 percent are employed in the harvesting and production of coconut goods. Since the Philippines is a small island nation, about 68 of 79 provinces are under the production of coconut in order to meet the growing demand for coconut. Products like desiccated coconut, coconut oil, fresh coconut, and copra are I high demand. Most of the coconut produced is exported whereas only 20% of local coconut is used in the local industry.
1. Indonesia (18, 300, 000 tons of coconut products)
Even though agriculture is one of the key sectors in the Indonesian economy, its contribution in the country’s GDP has declined recently. Even though their key crops include palm oil, natural rubber, and cocoa, coconut has played a key role in the exported crop of the country. There has been a recent shortage of raw material in the coconut processing industry in Jakarta. This has been due to the excessive export of coconut, leaving none for the local population.
Coconut is a tree which inculcates all the resources required by a man to survive which makes it a must-grow crop for many countries. The tropical countries have taken advantage of this, as they have the right conditions to commercially grow and export the fruit and other resources of this plant.