Goa is one of the state which has largest number of coconut tree and coconut based products. Coconut is the oldest crop that are grown in India and it is believed that the cultivation of coconut trees are the most important after rice in Goa. Coconut production enhance the economy in large way and is grown extensively in Goa. They are grown widely as major crops for its sap, which is the famous drink called ‘Feni’ are produced exclusively in Goa.
Since the dawn of human civilization coconut palm trees are been into existence. Coconut is an ancient word derived by the term “cocoanut” in 16th Century by Portuguese. It is derived from the Spanish word, where coco means “Skull” or “Head”, from which the three scoops on the coconut resembles some facial features. India is the third largest in producing coconut in the world. Goa is the only state which produces the sweetest coconuts in the world with it’s local breeds of Benaulim, Calangute and Nadora.
Coconut tree is known for its versatility, where one can find its uses of all the parts including leaves, wood and fruits are widely used. Nothing of a coconut tree ever goes as waste. The copra is essential source of cooking oil, cosmetic, industrial products, delicious eatables, and also makes our curries tastier. Husks are used in manufacturing of several handicrafts like mats, ropes etc. Fishing nets, which are the essential source of livelihood of many people in Goa are manufactured using the coir. The tender coconut has a very refreshing water within its shell which is highly nutritious and delightful. The fronds of coconut tree are used in making basket and thatching for roofs. It has a cultural and religious significance in many societies.
In Hindu tradition, Coconut plays a main role as it is an important element of rituals. In Sanskrit it is known as “kalpa vriksha”, which provides all the requirements of life. Coconuts are offered during the worship and it is a belief that while beginning any new work or activity these coconuts are broke, so that to ensure the blessings of the gods and successful completion of the works.
Classification of coconut trees are made into two types generally, that is tall and dwarf trees. The tree has large palm leaves and normally grows about 10 to 15m tall. All older coconut plantations are cultivated with tall varieties. Some tall varieties of coconut trees may attain the height of 20 to 30m and the leaf stalks are around 1 to 1.5m long. The coconut palm are highly tolerant and thrives on sandy soil. Abundant sunlight and regular rainfall favors the tree.