Copra is the dried kernel of coconut. It is the chief commercial product obtained from coconut tree,which is mainly used for oil extraction. The Coconut palm is one of the most useful plants in the world. It is grown in more than 80 countries of the world. Indonesia and the Philippines are the first and the second largest coconut producing country in the world.India is the third largest coconut producing country having an area of about 20.82 lakh hectares under the crop. Annual production is about 2395 crore with an average of 11505 nuts per hectare.Coconut contributes to about Rs.34,100 crore to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The major coconut growing states in India are Karnataka, A.P, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Orissa, Assam, Goa, Daman and Diu, Lakshadeep, Gujarat. Kerala tops in production accounting 39% of total production in the country.Coconut planting can be done June‐July in upland areas and October‐November in low lying and heavy rainfall areas.
Harvesting of coconut is done by cutting whole bunch of nuts by lowering down with the help of coir rope tied in the bunch, but sometimes individual nut maybe harvested. Mainly harvesting of coconuts depends on the use of its nuts as given below:
- If coconut water is required, the nuts of 5‐6 months of age are harvested.
- If copra is needed (for culinary purposes), the nuts of 8‐10 months are harvested.
- If dry copra is needed for coconut oil extraction and for other purposes, then fully ripe nuts of 10‐12 months or so are harvested.
Copra, the dried kernel is the chief commercial product from coconut,which is mainly used for oil extraction. Copra normally has an oilcontent varying from 65% to 72%.Two types of copra namely milling and edible are made in India.Milling copra is used to extract oil while edible grade of copra isconsumed as a dry fruit and used for religious purposes.Millingcopra is generally manufactured by adopting sun drying and artificial means. Substantial quantity of milling copra is manufactured usingmodern hot air driers resulting in the availability of superior qualitycopra, which is required for the manufacture of best grade coconutoil. Good number of farmersʹ co‐operative societies are alsoinvolved in the manufacture and marketing of milling copra. Millingcopra is available in different grades. Edible copra is made in theform of balls and cups. Different grades of edible copra are availablein the market according to the size, color etc.
In the year 2016-17, coconut products worth of Rs.2084 crore were exported. Union Government has declared up to 5% incentive in the export value (FOB) in its new Foreign Trade Policy for 2015-20 for the promotion of coconut product export. A quantum leap in the export of coconut products is expected in the near future as the price of coconut products is increasingly becoming highly competitive.India’s copra oil production in FY18 stood at 7,50,000 MT same as in previous fiscal year. India is a net exporter of copra though at a marginal quantities. Major export destinations are Philippines and Malaysia.