PREDICTIONS of A crisis in coconut production in Asia could open markets for Central American producers.
The UN Agency for Food and Agriculture (FAO) is warning of an impending crisis in production in Asian countries which are majorglobal producers, due to aging plantations, whose yields have fallen from 100 coconuts per tree year, to just 40.
Sector productivity is increasing by 2% a year, while global demand is growing by 10%. In Asia, the coconut palm that characterizes the landscape from the Philippines to India, is facing a crisis because ageing palm crops are less productive, reducing the harvest of the commodity which is used in food, fuel, soaps and cosmetics.
It is estimated that the harvest in Asia Pacific is currently roughly forty coconuts per tree per year, compared with a potential yield of one hundred. This is because after sixty years, reforestation of the trees is advisable, and many were planted between 50 and 60 years ago, do not produce enough.
Meanwhile, it is considered a source of food and income for millions of people,
In the Philippines, for example, which has suffered massive destruction from typhoons, coconut exports account for 5% of GDP.
Other major producers are Indonesia and India.