In the wake of the severe crisis in coconut sector due to price fall, Government of Kerala will directly procure raw coconut from farmers from February 2013 onwards, said Shri. K.P. Mohanan, Minister for Agriculture, Government of Kerala. He was inaugurating the coconut investors meet at Kochi. Government has given approval in principle for Neera tapping. He hoped that the Coconut Bio parks will be the stepping stone in the way forward of the coconut sector. The minister further said that as farmer security will ensure food security, the government is ready to formulate novel schemes for the benefit of the coconut farming community.
Shri. Subarto Biswas IAS, Agriculture Production Commissioner, Kerala in his presidential address assured the support of the government to committed coconut entrepreneurs. He emphasized the need for value addition in coconut and hoped that a handful of entrepreneurs would come up through the Coconut Bio Parks.
Shri. T K Jose IAS, Chairman in his keynote address said that as the farmers are not realizing the high value of the crop are selling the produce on a very low price. Lack of focused attention is making the sector to lag behind. There should be 10 coconut bio parks in 10 districts which are having more 25000 ha. area under coconut. He requested the state government to supply coconut oil through Public Distribution System and also to introduce coconut oil in mid day meal programme of schools. The sector is having the potential of say high and in 5year’s time we can even think of power stations generating 100 mega watt power using coconut oil as bio fuel. He called upon the farmers and entrepreneurs to work together to make India the global leader in coconut production, productivity, value addition and export.
Shri. K R Jyothilal IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Kerala State, Shri. P.T. Thomaskutty, Executive Director, KSIDC and Dr. P.V. Balachandran, Director (Extn) Kerala Agriculture University spoke on the occasion. Shri. Sugata Ghose, Chief Coconut Development Officer, CDB delivered the welcome address and Shri. R. Prasanth, AGM, KSIDC proposed a vote of thanks.
The Investor meet in coconut processing sector on the theme, ‘Product Diversification, Value Addition and Processing in Coconut- Future out Look’ was jointly organised by the Coconut Development Board, KSIDC and Department of Agriculture, Government of Kerala. Shri.Subrato Biswas IAS, Agriculture Production Commissioner, Kerala and Dr.P.V. Balachandran, Director (Extn.), KAU, chaired the technical sessions. Dr.K.Muralidharan, Director, Coconut Development Board, Shri. P.T Thomaskutty, Executive Director, KSIDC, Dr. K.Madhavan, Principle Scientist, CPCRI, Shri. Kumaraswamy Raja, Dir (Mktg), Coir Board and Dr. K.Prathapan, MD, KERAFED spoke during the technical session.
Representatives of various banks spoke on the available schemes and had interaction with the entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs from coconut processing sector presented their success stories. More than 250 entrepreneurs attended the meeting.