Harvesting coconuts, Java, Indonesia A. Rival © CIRAD


Coconut is primarily grown in the coastal subtropical zones of Asia and Oceania, its region of origin, on small family farms. The nuts, which are available all year round, are consumed in the region in the form of coconut milk. They are also used to produce copra and its by-product, copra oil. Some 10 million smallholders worldwide rely on the coconut value chain for a living, but it faces a range of issues: copra's reduced competitiveness, competition from palm kernel oil, and the development of lethal diseases that can wipe out coconut plantations within a few years. CIRAD is thus working to support the value chain's development.

Our remits

  • Organizing the fight against pests and diseases, particularly lethal yellowing, which is very widespread.
  • Diversifying the crops grown in affected zones, to enable growers to switch to other crops and stay where they are, with financial compensation.
  • Improving coconut-based cropping systems to ensure that they fit in with producers' needs and production contexts.
  • Promoting products more effectively .

Research units working on coconut