Kayamkulam (Kerala) [India], Sept.29 : Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Thursday said the centre is taking various measures to promote the farming of coconut in Kerala.
Addressing a national conference on the theme "Possibilities of coconut sector" at ICAR- Central Plantation Crop Research Institute situated in Kayamkulam, Singh said, "Under the Coconut Technology Mission, nearly 402 coconut processing units have been set up, where every year, 242 crore coconuts are processed.
As a whole 61 coconut producing companies have been set up in the country so far. Out of them 29 are located in Kerala." He further stated that the government has enhanced the minimum support price of milling copra from Rs.
5550 to Rs. 5950 and the price of Bal copra has been increased Rs. 5830 to Rs. 6240. In addition, he said the government has increased import duty related to oil palm to enhance the coconut related products, resulting in the price shoot up related to oil palm and increased demand of coconut oil.
After having value additions in coconut, we can expect a prosperous scenario for the farmers. Singh further added that the export of coconut oil is being carried to Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka during fiscal 2016-17.
Similarly, for the first time, India is exporting dried coconut to America and Europe. Singh said the government is supporting the promotion of the crops related to organic farming and spices and is committed to enhance the agricultural product in the state.
He also participated in a farmer fair in Kerala and expressed the hope that researchers working on coconut development and all the stakeholders will hold talks together and will take coconut farming to new heights in the state The conference was part of the function related to centenary year of coconut research in India.