What’s in for Coconut ?
The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the palm tree family (Arecaceae) and the only known living species of the genus. The term “coconut” (or the archaic “cocoanut”) can refer to the whole coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which botanically is a drupe, not a nut. The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco, meaning “head” or “skull” after the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.
Coconuts are known for their versatility of uses, ranging from food to cosmetics. The inner flesh of the mature seed, as well as the coconut milk extracted from it, forms a regular part of the diets of many people in the tropics and subtropics. Coconuts are distinct from other fruits because their endosperm contains a large quantity of clear liquid, called “coconut water” or “coconut juice”.
Mature, ripe coconuts can be used as edible seeds, or processed for oil and plant milk from the flesh, charcoal from the hard shell, and coir from the fibrous husk. Dried coconut flesh is called copra, and the oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking – frying in particular – as well as in soaps and cosmetics. The hard shells, fibrous husks and long pinnate leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating.
Ghana is endowed with the ideal climatic conditions for increased production of coconut for both the domestic and foreign markets. The crop thrives very well in the tropical rain forest zone and along the coastal belt. Total annual production of coconut currently stands at approximately 229 million pieces of coconuts, equivalent to between 350 and 400 thousand MT (2017).
Currently the majority of coconut is consumed domestically, within Ghana. However there is currently a deliberate effort by the Ghana Government to promote expansion of the acreages under coconut cultivation to take advantage of the increasing demand in the international markets.
Globally, the coconut water industry is estimated to be worth US$2.2billion today and is expected to reach US$4billion by 2019.
In fact, the global coconut market is expected to maintain a healthy growth rate of 26.75 percent until the year 2020, according to the Sri Lanka Export Development Board.
It is also estimated by Statista, a research organisation, that demand for coconuts worldwide has grown by more than 500 percent in the past decade.
The amount of coconut milk consumed in the United States in 2015 alone is about US$201million.
The Future Markets Insights also reports that the global coconut flour market is estimated to be valued at more than US$380million in 2017, and is expected to cross US$720million by the end of 2027.
The same source states that in 2017 the coconut flour market in the North America region was estimated to be valued at more than US$140million, and is expected to register a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.8 percent in the next ten years to reach a market value of nearly US$274million by the end of 2027.
The global market for organic virgin coconut oil has also witnessed continued demand growth during the last few years, and is projected to reach US$1.28billion at a CAGR of 10.98 percent by 2022.