The Government has hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for copra by Rs 150 a quintal for the 2013 season over last year.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Thursday approved the (MSP) hike for fair average quality (FAQ) “Milling Copra” at Rs 5,350 a quintal and “Ball Copra” at Rs 5,500, an official statement said.
The increase in copra MSP is expected to encourage farmers to step up investment in coconut cultivation and thereby production and productivity of coconut in the country, the Government said.
The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (Nafed) would continue to act as the nodal agency to undertake price support operation at the minimum support prices in the coconut growing States.
Thursday’s hike in MSP is lower than the increase of Rs 250/quintal recommended by the Agriculture Ministry.
Bulk of the copra is produced mainly in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Production of copra in Tamil Nadu ranges between 7 lakh tonnes and 12 lakh tonnes a year while in Kerala it ranges between 5 and 10 lakh tonnes.
The peak season for copra starts by mid-March in Kerala and ends in June. However, in Tamil Nadu the peak season starts in April and goes on till August.
In Tamil Nadu, the price of milling copra is ruling at Rs 4,450 a quintal, while the ball copra is traded at Rs 5,200, said Prakash B.Rao, Vice-President, Cochin Oil Merchants Association. In Kerala, the milling copra is currently traded at Rs 5,200while ball copra is ruling at Rs 4,700.
Besides Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, coconut is grown on a total area of over 19 lakh hectares. Coconut is also grown in Assam, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, Goa, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.