Coconut Development Board celebrated World Coconut Day cum Exhibition 2013 at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore on 2nd September on the theme ‘Farmer Producer Organizations and Value Addition in Coconut. Thiru. S Damodaran, Minister for Agriculture, Tamil Nadu inaugurated the program at convocation hall, TNAU, Coimbatore. Coconut Board has to adopt latest technologies being developed in the department of Genetics studies to promote good varieties of coconut and to make all available facilities from TNAU for the promotion of good varieties of coconut seedlings, Shri. Damodaran informed in his inaugural address. Tissue culture seedlings can be developed for promoting disease tolerant varieties of coconut. Honorable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has given 33 hectares of land for developing demonstration cum seed production farm at Dhali in Udumalpett taluk, Tirupur district, he said. One of the major objectives for establishing DSP farms is to develop DXT hybrid varieties suitable for the state. He expressed his happiness on chairman’s words that Pollachi is selected as the ‘Town of Export of Excellence’ from where the export of coconut has crossed 1000 crores mainly from value added products.
Shri. T K Jose, IAS, Chairman, CDB delivered the keynote address on the theme through which tremendous changes in the life style of farmer could be possible by enhancing value addition in coconut and thereby generating sustainable income in the economy of the country. For that purpose a three tier structure of Coconut Producers Society (CPS), Federation of Coconut Producers and Producer Company was put forward from major coconut growing states for the Farmer Producer Organizations in coconut sector. With the collective efforts of these companies, industrialists and entrepreneurs of coconut sector should come forward to empower the coconut farmer, sector and industries to make India as the leader in coconut production and processing of coconut products and to place within the first three positions in coconut exports from the existing 27th position and processing and value addition from 25th position respectively during the 12th Five Year Plan as per Board’s expectation. Till today, 3807 Coconut Producers Societies (CPSs), 142 Coconut Producers Federations (CPFs) and 6 Coconut Producers Companies (CPCs) are registered with Coconut Development Board. Milestone fixed for this financial year is 2000 CPSs or 200 Federations and 10 Producers Companies in Tamilnadu and Karanataka 1000 CPSs, 100 Federations and 5 Producer Companies in Andhra Pradesh. Coimbatore being the largest coconut producing district having the most progressive coconut farmer’s wonderful role models is expected to form from Coimbatore. Successful vibrant models of Coconut Producers Companies are expected from the state of Tamilnadu and Karnataka. No other natural/synthetic drinks to compete with neera and tender coconut water. Amendment on Excise Act for production of Neera in kerala state will come into effect immediately. Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andrapradesh will also take a lead role for amending the Excise Act, he said. The special issue of Indian Coconut Journal was released on the occasion.
Shri. T Malaravan MLA, Coimbatore North, Shri. M K Shankaralinge Gowda IAS, Principal Secretary ( Hort), Shri. Sandeep Saxena IAS, APC, Tamilnadu, Dr. Rajendran IAS, Director of Agriculture, Tamilnadu, D.I. Maheswar, Director of Horticulture, Karnataka, Dr. K Ramaswamy, Vice-chancellor, TNAU delivered their special addresses on the theme. Members of the Board, Shri. Varkala Ravikumar, Shri. Dharmarajan and Vasanthavishnu Limaye were the dignitaries attended the program. Shri. R. Kalaiselvan, Vice Chairman, CDB welcomed the gathering and Shri. Sugata Ghose, CCDO, CDB proposed a vote of thanks.
A two day exhibition was arranged on 1st and 2nd September 2013 as part of the celebration at university campus. Earlier on 1st, the exhibition on coconut held at TNAU campus was inaugurated by Shri. A A Jinnah, Hon’ble MP which was a good platform for manufacturers of coconut products to display their newly introduced products before public wherein showcased an array of value added coconut products manufactured through utilization of modern technologies by leading entrepreneurs and artisans, machinery manufacturers and nursery owners in coconut industry. Around 30 manufacturers participated in exhibition cum sale and showcased their products under Board’s banner. A theme pavilion of Board was set up in front of the exhibition hall wherein an array of all value added products in coconut sector including newly introduced products were displayed.
Inaugural session was followed by a technical session which was chaired by Dr. P Rethinam, Former Chairman of APCC and Former Chairman, CDB. Experts from CFTRI,Mysore, Kerala Agricultural University and Coconut Development Board, Samy’s lab Bangalore made theme based presentations from relevant field. A panel discussion and face to face interaction with farmers of all coconut growing countries was also held. More than 1000 farmers from all major coconut growing states across India have been invited to take part in the program.
“Coconut oil, only next to mother's breast milk, reduces heart diseases and is very good for preventing Alzheimer's disease. Coconut oil contains the healthy (and weight reducing) form of saturated fat, it does not form dangerous trans fatty acids that even olive oil does, and it is far healthier than the other vegetable oils out. Use of coconut oil instead of butter on toast, English muffins, bagels, grits, corn on the cob, potatoes or sweet potatoes; add coconut oil or milk to your favorite smoothie recipe; mix coconut oil into oats or other hot cereal, rice, vegetables, noodles, pasta, 50:50 with salad dressings, soup, chili or spaghetti sauce.”
Prof B M Hegde
Retired vice-chancellor of Manipal University of Higher Education.