The Coconut Development Board has signed an agreement with St Patrick Coconut Growers Cooperative Society of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for technical collaboration. This is the first time that the Board is entering into an agreement with a Commonwealth country for transfer of technologies.

The thrust areas in the memorandum of understanding are identification and supply of 60,000 coconut seed nuts/seedlings within two years, transfer of technologies in production and protection, post-harvest management and primary processing, production of value-added products and mechanised palm climbing.

Skilled and trained manpower outsourcing is also envisaged for a short duration. This will enable the country to explore more marketing opportunities in Trinidad and Tobago, the Board officials said.

Mr Pranesh Maharaj, Chairman of the Cooperative, and Mr T.K. Jose, Chairman of the Board, signed the agreement here. The Board also made a presentation on the strength of the Indian coconut industry as well as the areas of cooperation.

The Board will give technical support to rehabilitate coconut plantations in 10,000 acres over two years. Nearly 6 lakh superior quality seedlings will be produced. Shipment of seed nuts are proposed to start from 2013.

Mr Maharaj requested the Board to send a team of officials to Trinidad to acquire first-hand knowledge of the coconut industry in Trinidad and Tobago and also to draw out a road map for developing the industry.

The team from Trinidad will also visit the Technology Development Centre of the Board at Vazhakulam (kerala); coconut-processing units in Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh; the Coir Research Institute, Kalavoor (Kerala); and the Central Plantation Crops Research Institute in Kasaragod (Kerala).

sajeevkumar@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on May 18, 2012)
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