Coconut is one of the major plantation crops in Sri Lanka which accounts for approximately 12% of all agricultural produce in Sri Lanka. Total land area under cultivation is 395,000 hectares and about 2,500 million nuts are produced per year.
Sri Lanka is very popular in world market for Desiccated Coconut (DC) and Brown fiber. Distinguish white color and characteristic taste of Sri Lankan DC has ranked Sri Lanka at 4th position of world export market for all kernel products. Sri Lanka holds the global No.1 for the exports of Brown fiber. A technique called drum system is used to extract fiber, resulting in long pure fiber, which are more suitable for brush industry.
The coconut palm is referred to as 'KAPRUKA' the 'tree of heaven' as each and every part of the palm is useful to mankind in one way or other. It provides food, drink, fuel and timber. Millions of families in the world depend on coconut for their livelihood either directly or indirectly India ranks third in area and production of coconut in the world.
The coconut palm is found to grow under varying climatic and soil conditions. It is essentially a tropical plant, growing mostly between 20° N and 20° S latitudes. The ideal temperature for coconut growth and yield is 27 ± 5° C and humidity > 60 per cent. The coconut palm grows well up to an elevation of 600 m above MSL. However, near the equator, productive coconut plantations can be established up to an elevation of about 1000 m above MSL.
The palms tolerate wide range in intensity and distribution of rainfall. However, a well distributed rainfall of about 200 cm per year is the best for proper growth and higher yield. In areas of inadequate rainfall with uneven distribution, irrigation is required.