chapter  1
18 Pages

Introduction

ByDonald L. Plucknett

Coconut may be the most extensively-grown tree crop in the tropics. Major producers of copra and coconut oil are the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), Mexico, Malaysia, and the islands and territories of Oceania. The crop is grown mainly on islands, peninsulas, and along coasts, partly as a result of favorable growing conditions as well as easy access to shipping and transportation facilities. Although coconut is often thought of as a large-scale plantation crop, most of the world production comes from small farms. Because world copra prices fluctuate widely and are frequently low, coconut-growing areas often experience economic instability, leading to neglect and poor condition of the palms. Coconuts often occupy some of the best land resources of a country; they are usually planted in or near high rainfall coastal areas with good topography where more intensive land use is needed.