The coconut industry has hailed the allocation of Rs 25 crore in the Kerala budget to the sector as ‘a positive step’.

Welcoming the announcement, T.K. Jose, chairman, Coconut Development Board, said the coconut sector would need government support for its overall development.

The recent Union Budget had also allocated funds, especially for replanting and rejuvenation of coconut trees.

“The Board has asked for similar support from the State Government and we are happy to see that the Finance Minister had responded to our request,” he said.

However, Jose said that the most important announcement in the budget is the sanctioning of Rs 15 crore to open Neera production centres in 10 districts of Kerala.

According to him, it will revolutionise the sector and bring a positive change in Kerala’s economy. It will also fetch more income to coconut farmers.

Senior officials in Kerafed said that funds can also be utilised for market intervention to end fluctuations in the coconut oil market. The announcement to extent procurement centres for raw coconuts in more Krishi Bhavans would boost up the market sentiments, the officials said.

sajeevkumar.v@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 15, 2013)
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