Coconuts are often referred to as the wonder fruit for the myriad benefits they provide to human beings. Known as the “tree of life,” it provides food, raw materials, and water to everyone.
To celebrate the importance of this fruit, World Coconut Day is observed every year on 2 September by the Asian Pacific Coconut Community (APCC).
First observed in 2009, World Coconut Day is marked to celebrate the founding of the APCC. The APCC aims at harmonising, promoting, and coordinating all activities related to the coconut industry.
The day also aims to celebrate the importance and usage of coconuts in our lives. As a member of the APCC, India also marks the occasion every year.
Every year, the APCC, under the authority of the UN-ESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the Asia Pacific ), marks the occasion by promoting the many health benefits and uses of coconuts.
This year, keeping in mind the coronavirus pandemic, the theme is "Building a Safe Inclusive Resilient and Sustainable Coconut Community Amid COVID-19 Pandemic & Beyond”.
Significance in India
India is the third-largest producer of coconuts worldwide. It founded the Coconut Development Board (CDB) – a statutory body under the ministry of agriculture, which aims to develop the “tree of life” and the products related to it. With its headquarters in Kochi, Kerala, the CDB organises programmes in the country on World Coconut Day.
The day is marked by seminars and awareness campaigns, with many farmers and businessmen exchanging ideas about coconut production and how to increase it.
In India, coconuts are cultivated in states including West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, Odisha, Goa, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. They are even grown in the north-eastern part of the country, with almost 33,493 hectares of land being dedicated to cultivating coconuts.
The wonder fruit is useful for a variety of health benefits. It helps digestion, reduces obesity, and brings down the body temperature during summer. It contains antioxidants, antifungal, and antiviral and antibacterial elements.