Use of King Coconut husk to produce an organic potassium source for agricultural use

NRC Grant:  15-139

Dr. (Mrs) H.M. Indika Herath
Coconut Research Institute
Soils & Plant Nutrition Division
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Area of Research:Soil and Environmental Sciences, Plant Nutrition Agriculture, Water Footprinting



The major objective of this study is to transform the king coconut husk which is a waste product of king coconut water export industry as well as local industry to a useful product to agriculture sector.

In achieving the above main objective through this research, the following sub-objectives will also be achievedv

1. Adding economic value to the tender husk of king coconut so that it will no longer be a problematic waste to the industry

2. Nutrient recycling of king coconut growing system through applying waste material with easy application as the product is less bulky

3. Minimize the environmental hazard of mosquito breeding on water collected in the tender king coconut shell in the husk

4. Introduce organic potassium source to the organic cultivation as an alternative to the expensive potassium fertilizer.

5. Cost saving through alternative nutrient source from waste material of the industry

6. Quantify the nutrient value of the product made from king coconut husk

7. Assess how this product change soil environment and its properties when applied to the bulk soil

8. Disseminate knowledge to the relevant parties on how this method can be applied to nutrient recycling/supply in agricultural systems.


This research project will be carried out in three phases:

1. Production of nutrient supplementary material (NSM) from the king coconut husks For this coconut husks will be collected from the factories (which have already been identified) and they will be processed under three different conditions (husks of Fresh, semi-dry and dry).

2. The laboratoty analysis of the products for their properties These products will be analyzed for their nutrient contents (mainly potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus and other micronutrients) and chemical properties such as pH and electrical conductivity. Based on the properties of products made from different husk conditions, the best condition will be selected for field testing

3. The Field testing of the product for its use as a nutrient supplementary material (NSM) for agricultural use

This is to monitor the change in chemical properties and its impact on soil environment and nutrient availability due to application of this material.

The field testing of NSM will be conducted for young coconut palms which have been established in the field (this will enable to understand the impact of this product on plant growth within the experimental period of two years).

The level of application of NSM will be decided based on the analysis of the product. Field testing is carried out in comparison with plants treated with normal CRI recommended fertilizer applied coconut.