The coconut palm' (Cocos nucifera), is a
member of the family Arecaceae (palm family). It is the only accepted species
in the genus Cocos. The coconut is a large palm, growing up to 30 m (98 ft)
tall, with pinnate leaves 4–6 m (13–20 ft) long, and pinnae 60–90 cm long; old
leaves break away cleanly, leaving the trunk smooth. Coconuts are generally
classified into two general types: tall and dwarf. On very fertile land, a tall
coconut palm tree can yield up to 75 fruits per year, but more often yields
less than 30, mainly due to poor cultural practices. A full-sized coconut
weighs about 1.44 kg (3.2 lb). It takes around 6,000 full-grown coconuts to
produce a tonne of copra. Coconut is cultivated in 18 states and 3 union
territories in the country. Southern India alone contributes 90% of area and
91% of Production. Annual production of coconut is 21.89 billion nuts
List of Tall Varieties
List of Dwarf Varieties (Tender coconut)
List of Hybrid Varieties
Twelve months old nuts are harvested at the interval of 30-45 days for seed as well as copra making and culinary purposes. However, for tender nut purposes 7 to 8 months old nuts are harvested. The nuts can be harvested using coconut climbers. Nuts which are 11 months old give fiber of good quality. This is suitable for coir fiber. Good quality copra can be obtained in short time by using these driers. Moisture content in copra for final use should be around 5-6%. In case of tall variety, the nuts harvested for seed purpose can be stored for 2 to 3 months period before sowing, whereas in case of dwarfs and hybrids, nuts should be sown with in a period of 10 –15 days of harvest. On an average, we can have eight harvests, though the coconut palm produces inflorescence every month. For oil extraction, nuts are generally sun dried for copra making. In this case there is a chance of dirt accumulation followed by oil quality deterioration, nuts can be dried in various types of driers available (Kiln, electric and solar driers) and also sun drying.
Coconuts are packed in various types of containers,bags(coconut fiber netting bags containing 60 - 100 nuts, 50 kg jute poly sacks) depending on the market destination. Domestically marketed water coconuts may be sold in bulk or packed in large synthetic or mesh sacks of known fruit count per sack.
Storage of coconuts in cool, dry, good ventilated godown. Store the copra in polythene tar coated gunny bags. The oil yield of WCT palms under rain fed condition will be around 1.7 to 2 tons/ha.