Let us continue from where we left in the previous blog. Coconut and palm oils have been important sources of dietary fats for several centuries in most part of Asia and Africa. Recent research studies indicate that both these oils contain beneficial effects with respect to their roles in health, nutrition and national development.
In the vegetable oils market, only palm kernel oil (PKO) and coconut oil (CNO) are lauric oils having monolaurin, also known as glycerol monolaurate, which is a by-product of coconut fat, and chemical derived from lauric acid and glycerine. Monolaurin is an organic source of the medium chain triglyceride, and is generally considered healthy. The choice of consumers is more often than not dictated by price. Price can heavily impact the market for CNO if it becomes higher compared to PKO.
It is recommended that producers and processors of high value products share their profits with raw material suppliers. This will encourage coconut growers to replant senile palms, adopt the best farm management practises and stay relevant in the industry for robust growth. The domestic sector is plagued by several constraints including high rate of fall of production and productivity, fluctuating prices that damper investments, increasing wages, shortage of labour, non-availability of quality planting materials and resources, and bits and pieces of land holdings. However, it is important to identify strategies to overcome the issues such as expanding and stabilizing area under coconut through quality planting material, replanting and rejuvenating existing coconut farms through pruning old palms and replanting with selected quality seedlings. The annual production of coconut is currently 23,798.29 million nuts covering 2.10 million hectares spread across 16 states and 4 Union Territories. The coconut sector adds $3,568 million to the total GDP, while exports earnings accounts for $686.58 million (which is 0.21 per cent of total export earnings).