Coconut is grown in more than 86 countries worldwide, with a total production of 54 billion nuts per annum. India occupies the premier position in the world with an annual production of 13 billion nuts, overtaking Indonesia and the Philippines, the other two prominent coconut-growing countries.
The coconut palm is a versatile tree crop; no other tree crop grown can match coconut palm in its versatility. It provides nutritious food and a refreshing drink, oil for edible and non-edible uses, fibre of commercial value, shell for fuel and industrial uses, thatch, an alcoholic beverage, timber and a variety of miscellaneous products for use as domestic fuel. The palm is amenable to both plantation and homestead management and it can be either a major crop or a minor one in a homestead garden of mixed crops. While responding favourably to scientific management, the palm also tolerates negligent farming to a certain extent. Thus, it can adapt to the divergent farming situations and management practices that are prevalent in the different agro-climatic regions.