Minister of State for Agriculture Shobha Karandlaje distributed the National Awards for Export Excellence in coconut in Bangalore on Thursday. A total of 32 awards were distributed for the period from 2019-20 to 2022-23, acknowledging excellence across different facets of coconut exports, the Coconut Board said in a statement.

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Addressing the awardees, the Minister stressed upon the need to improve technology/marketing capabilities and also encourage the young generation for adopting good technology in coconut sector.

While mentioning about the government support for the farmers, Karandlaje informed that subsidies from Horticulture/Agriculture Departments, Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana etc are not being utilised properly for the benefit of farmers and stake holders. Now a day’s horticulture/agriculture departments are doing export through concerned industrial departments. They are promoting industrial products rather than agricultural products. In order to improve the export, she requested the State/Agriculture/Horticulture Departments to sit with APEDA and DGFT to make a separate cell for Agriculture/Horticulture products export. APEDA has a list of products as per the requirement from various countries across the globe. Accordingly, State/Agri/Hort Departments can identify the requirements from each country and promote the required agriculture commodity from the concerned state, she said.

Prabhat Kumar, CEO, CDB & Horticulture Commissioner, Govt of India, in his introductory remarks said that Coconut Development Board was notified as Export Promotion Council (EPC) for all coconut products other than those made from coconut husk and fibre by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The total value of coconut products exported during the year 2022-23 touched ₹3,554.23 crore, the statement said.

K. B. Hebbar, Director, CPCRI & Vice-Chairman, CDB urged the stakeholders to use the technology assistance and financial assistance provided by CPCRI and CDB for the upliftment of the coconut sector. He also said that coconut is a promising crop in the agriculture sector. He also added that we should concentrate more on climate resilience and carbon sequestration.