The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) has recommended to the government to keep the minimum support price (MSP) of copra unchanged for 2013 in view of stagnant acreage under the crop and sluggish prices.

For 2012, the Centre has fixed MSP of milling copra at Rs 5,100 per quintal and ball copra at Rs 5,350 per quintal.

“The CACP has proposed freezing of the copra support price for the 2013 season at current year’s level,” a senior Agriculture Ministry official told PTI.

The reason given was that domestic prices are ruling below the MSP level and area under the crop has remained stagnant for the last several years.

It has proposed that the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) to continue its price support operations of copra in 2013 season.

CACP, that advises the government on pricing policy for major farm produce, has already submitted its proposal on copra MSP to the Agriculture Ministry, which will further move a Cabinet note after inter-ministerial consultations.

At Kozhikode, ball copra rates had fallen below the MSP level last month and are ruling at Rs 5400 per quintal on Tuesday.

The area under the crop is little over 19 lakh hectares, while the production is around 14,745 million nuts.

Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are major coconut producing states in the country. The crop is also grown in Assam, Maharashtra, Orissa, West Bengal, Goa, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.

India is one of the three largest producers of coconut in the world along with Indonesia and Philippines.

(This article was published on November 6, 2012)
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