Shobha Karandlaje, Minister of State for Agriculture, has called upon coconut farmers in Karnataka to concentrate more on processing and value addition through Farmer Producers Organisations to double their income.

She was inaugurating the state-level farmers’ meet organised by the Coconut Development Board in association with the Department of Horticulture, Karnataka and UKAASA Producers Organisation, Kundapur.

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Emphasising the importance of Kalpavriksha in day-to-day life, the Minister stressed the need for making maximum utilisation of the opportunities that coconut products are having both in domestic and global markets.

She further spoke on the successful women entrepreneurship in the coconut sector that can be emulated by interested women entrepreneurs. The Minister asked CDB to have one scheme exclusively for the transportation of coconut products to non-traditional areas.

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She requested the Coconut Development Board to extend all possible support to interested persons to venture into coconut processing through necessary training and exposure visits. Since the dearth of skilled palm climbers and Neera tappers still exists, the Board need to give more skill development trainings for FoCTs and Neera Technicians.

She appreciated the efforts of the FPOs in coconut sector who are already into processing and value addition.

Sukumara Shetty, MLA, Byndur requested the necessity for fixing MSP for matured nuts for addressing the coconut market issues.

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The Minister also inaugurated an exhibition showcasing various value added coconut products at the venue. A technical session on coconut cultivation and value addition was also held in which around 1,000 farmers attended.