Coconut-producing countries produced more than 65.7 billion of coconut or 11.7 million MT copra equivalent in 2022, and about the same number are produced each year, or equivalent to 26.3 million MT of husk. However, over 92% of husk is left unused economically and sometimes disposed of as waste material. So far only two major coconut-producing countries, India and Sri Lanka are reported as the two major producers and exporters of husk or coir-based products to China, USA, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, and many more countries in Europe and Australia.

The export volume of coir in 2012 amounted to 1,857,466 MT with the export value of only about 6% of the total export value of all coconut-based products. This value is still far from its economic potential. About 60% peat and 40% fiber can be obtained and various eco-friendly products are processed and traded. The quantity and value optimization of the coir products exported and consumed domestically might potentially soar the important source of foreign exchange for the countries and boost the income of farmers and producers.

The use of coconut coir as a bio-composites is increasingly growing to meet the growing demand for sustainable, biodegradable, renewable and recyclable materials. The cumulative interest in automotive, cosmetic, robust structural board or materials has strengthened the need for natural fibers as it offers economic and environmental benefits. Coconut coir substrate to grow crops like sweet peppers are encouraged by scientists based on the scientific experiments showing that the better yield and nutritional quality were found in fruits grown under coir substrate when compared to loamy soil (control).

Coconut husk is useful as a water absorbent and toxin remover. Numerous studies have proven the use of coconut coir to remove water pollutants such as chromium. Chromium pollution has been known as a significant environmental threat. Overexposure to human and animal tissues can be toxic and detrimental to health. Coconut coir has been also used as a natural dye to meet the increasing demand worldwide for the natural dyes in all fields due to the carcinogenic effects of the waste from synthetic industries. The economic and eco-friendly application of coconut coir as a natural dye for the colorization of silk becoming popular.

Another application of coconut coir fiber is a concrete additive for rural road pavement and a mulching material to overcoming issue on improper farming and overexploitation of land to support a growing population that could lead to soil erosion. Soil erosion by water and wind causes more than 80% of all damage to the world's
land resources. Mulching is one of the most effective agronomic measures for soil conservation as it protects the soil at the ground surface by forming a cover against rain splashing and runoff. Coconut fiber matting has been used by engineers for slopes and embankment stabilization for years. Coconut fiber is a biodegradable
product and will fit into natural environmental cycle without pollution when compared to products such as plastics, polythene, or synthetic nets.

The coir industry is an agro-based rural industry providing employment to millions of workers including women. Hence, collective initiative and strong commitments to optimally utilize and convert the low-value products to higher value-added products is essential to maximize its potential in boosting the socio-economic livelihood of farmers and producers and in supporting the achievement of sustainable development goals.

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