And the answer: Indonesia.
Indonesia has more than a lovely bunch of coconuts—it’s the world’s leading producer at nearly 16 million tonnes per year. The majority of the coconuts produced are in the North Sulawesi provinces and the Riau islands between Malaysia and Singapore.
Indonesia’s warm, damp ecosystem allows a dense forest of coconut trees to thrive. As a result, coconuts are a major national staple of Indonesian culture, as well as an economic necessity. Exports of Indonesian coconut products have spread far across the world. In the first few months of 2020, exports of processed coconut products were recorded to have reached 463.5 thousand tons, sent to dozens of countries spread across 6 continents.
The coconut is also a major part of Indonesian socio-cultural life. Throughout various regions of Indonesia, the coconut or coconut plant is part of traditions and rituals. For example, in the Java region of Indonesia, locals will sometimes burn dried coconut husks soaked in oil to create homemade soccer balls.
Coconut plants are one of nature’s healthiest, and most versatile products. The coconut plant (and its various parts) can be used for food, drink, cosmetic preparations, and even decorating. Some even claim that the fruit’s oil can reverse dental decay—if you swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes a day!
Did you know?
Today, September 2, is World Coconut Day! Each year, the world celebrates the formation of the Asian Pacific Coconut Community (APCC), as well as the nutritious and delicious fruit it was formed for. The APCC is headquartered at Jakarta, Indonesia, and all major coconut growing countries including India are members of APCC. Today, crack open a coconut in honor of one of the healthiest and tastiest snacks out there, and its rich history.
Learn more about coconuts and all their various uses here.