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How we can use the waste of green coconuts into valuable nutrient for soil?

Ahana Shrestha
Practical Action

How to use usefully or dispose of the thousands of green coconuts after their milk has been drunk to prevent them from going into the garbage which is difficult to dispose of by the municipal authorities if a way could be found to grind them into powder to add to the soil by farmers as they contain valuable nutrients.

5 Answers

Harriette Purchas

Green coconut shells are very difficult to compost, hence many find their way into landfill. However I have come across a project by Pune Municipal Council where they are shredding the shells to create a mulch which can be applied to the soil, helping to retain moisture and prevent the growth of weeds. You can read more in this

The other option is to create charcoal from them, which can be used as a fuel or further as a material for odour or colour removal. There is alot of interesting and useful information on the website of the Coconut Development Board

Hope that is helpful.

Regards Harriette


Worth bearing in mind that individual solution to single waste streams may not be that sustainable / worthwhile. I am guessing that you are referring to coconuts that have already been distributed into the consuming community, rather than those arising at a large volume processing plant.

Need to consider how the putrescible (compostable) fraction of the local waste stream is currently being dealt with and try and incorporate the coconut waste into that - maybe via size reduction (shredding etc). Or if diversion of woody / combustible waste is already happening (which ideally it should be), then coconuts could likely be added to that waste stream instead - they are substantial enough to contribute positively as an energy source, rather than passively as part of a compost / mulch waste stream.

I do like the activated carbon / charcoal idea though, the open structure of the green coconut would be ideal for forming nice porous / highly adsorbent (and absorbent) material that potentially could be high value compared to other "disposal" options. Note the high volumes needed / and reference to mature shells in link page in previous answer.


A very good option is the production of biochar from the husks. With this method you can make a second product from your waste husks. The product is a type of supersoil that you can either use on your trees or sell. This is a small scale biochar machine you can make with old oil drums.

When this is made you make the biochar from the husks and then the powdered carbon you can enrich with EM1 and EM2 microbacteria. This when added to normal dirt and compost if you have it available will make supersoils.