Federal Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shobha Karandlaje has called for the need to conduct coconut cultivation and processing as a commercial enterprise and target export markets to ensure good returns for small farmers.
She gave the opening address at the 25th World Coconut Day celebration organized by the Coconut Development Committee in association with ICAR-CPRI, Kasaragod.
The minister asked farmers to utilize various government development programs such as Kisan Samman Yojana, PM Fasal Bheema Yojana and Agricultural Infrastructure Fund to increase production, value addition and export-oriented trade.
She highlighted the need to shift to processing and product diversification, thereby moving away from copra-centric processing to other products such as nila, virgin coconut oil and coconut flakes to ensure better price realization.
Farmer producer organizations can revolutionize the coconut industry by strengthening the collective power of small and marginal farmers. They can help boost farm mechanization, agribusiness and exports, she added.
The Minister also honored ten coconut entrepreneurs at the event. Signed memoranda of understanding on technology transfer with seven entrepreneurs. Vadakara Coconut Farmer Producer Company Ltd was also congratulated at the event for being awarded the World’s Best Farmer Organization Award by the International Coconut Community.
More than 500 progressive farmers from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Gujarat attended the meeting. The exhibition showcased various coconut cultivation and processing techniques as well as a variety of coconut products. A technical meeting was then organized followed by a panel discussion on the coconut business plan proposed by the FPO.