Coconut, the fruit from the coconut palm tree is widely grown throughout the tropics. The palm trees grow to 30 m and require a continuous frost-free warm climate, plenty of rain and sunlight. India, Indonesia and the Philippines are the largest producers. An adult palm tree will produce coconut fruits every month throughout the year. Young immature coconuts are harvested for coconut water, a nutritious drink, and mature fruits for the white ‘meat’ and oil. A wide range of coconut products are internationally traded .In addition to their high nutritional value, coconut products also have various medicinal properties.

Author: P.G.Punchihewa and R.N. Arancon
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejía, FAO
Last Reviewed: 14/10/1999
(pdf - 38pp - 0.3Mb)

Groundnut is rich in oil and protein and has a high-energy value. The largest producers are China, India, Nigeria and the United States of America, but many other African and South American countries also have sizeable production. Groundnut provides high-quality cooking oil and is an important source of protein for both human and animal diets. The bush or runner species require five months to mature and the groundnuts are harvested by lifting the plant from the ground and stripping and drying the pods.  Good post-harvest handling is important in order to prevent contamination of the nuts by aflatoxins.

Author: P.C. Nautiyal, PhD
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejía, FAO
Last Reviewed: 07/06/2002
(pdf - 126pp - 1.9Mb)

Oilseeds such as mustard, Niger seed, rape, sesame, soybean or sunflower offer a range of opportunities for small farmers, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Oilseed crushing can range from a large industrial scale to manual processing on farm as a small scale agro-enterprise. Home utilization of the edible oils is of great nutritional value and the protein rich by-product “cake” is fed to livestock.

Author: O.G. Schmidt
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejía, FAO
Last Reviewed: 04/03/2014
(pdf - 16pp - 0.2Mb)