The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Friday approved hike in minimum support prices (MSPs) for copra for 2023 season by 3-7 per cent amid lower market rates.

The MSP for Fair Average Quality of milling copra has been fixed at ₹10,860 a quintal and for ball copra at ₹11,750 for 2023 season. “This is an increase of ₹270/quintal for milling copra and ₹750/quintal for ball copra over the previous season,” an official statement said. The season in Kerala starts in December and in Tamil Nadu from April and runs for about six months.

Briefing media after the CCEA meeting Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said the approval is based on recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices and views of major coconut growing States. He further said that the decision to hike the MSP would ensure a margin of 51.82 per cent for milling copra and 64.26 per cent for ball copra over the all India weighted average cost of production (A2+Family Labour)

The announced MSP of copra for 2023 season is in line with the principle of fixing the MSP at a level of at least 1.5 times all-India weighted average cost of production as announced by the Government in the Budget 2018-19, he added.

National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (NCCF) will continue to act as nodal agencies for procurement of copra and de-husked coconut directly from farmers under Price Support Scheme (PSS) when market rates fall below MSPs.

As reported by business line earlier, the recent decision by NAFED to sell copra procured from farmers in the open market has pulled down prices of the commodity.

Copra prices are hovering at ₹87 per kg in Kerala and ₹82 in Tamil Nadu. Traders had said that prices were in a revival mode to reach ₹96 after dropping to ₹76 two months ago. However, NAFED’s decision has further hit the prices. NAFED had procured around 40,600 tonnes of milling copra from Tamil Nadu and 255.55 tonnes from Kerala under the procurement scheme during 2022 season through multiple portals.