Oil merchants seek higher price for copra

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on October 03, 2019 Published on October 03, 2019



Cochin Oil Merchants Association has raised a demand to increase the floor price of copra to ₹100/kg from the current level of ₹95/kg for the benefit of coconut oil mills.

Fetching a good price for copra would enable more number of players into coconut oil production in the State. Kerala was once a major centre of coconut oil production and there were more than 3,500 coconut oil mills across the State. Besides, the move could help realise a better price for farmers, enabling them to remain active in coconut production. However, the arrival of low quality coconut oil and copra from neighbouring States forced more than 3,000 mills to close down, said Thalath Mahmood, president, COMA.

Addressing the 84th annual general meeting, he pointed out that this arrival trend of adulterated oil into the market is still continuing, but COMA’s intervention has started yielding results, as 80 per cent of the oil available now is pure and safe. The legal battle taken up by the association resulted in the closure of several illegal oil mills, he added.

He pointed out that the market is now facing the menace of blended edible oils, which are cheaper than coconut oil. The blended oils are produced by mixing palm oil, palm kernel oil and sunflower oil with 20 per cent coconut oil. COMA has approached the food safety authorities against the widespread sale of blended coconut oil and asked the authorities to clarify whether such blended oil can be sold as edible oil.

The association also requested the authorities to carry out strict monitoring measures on adulterated oil, both at the production centres as well as in marketing areas. The demand of the association to set up a sophisticated laboratory to check adulterated coconut oil has not materialised so far. The association has taken steps to set up a modern laboratory at the earliest. Mahmood also alleged that copra arriving from neighbouring States are not dried in the sun, but in smoke by burning sulphur for longer shelf life and a fresh look. The consumption of such copra is a health hazard and the authorities should look into it, he added.

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Published on October 03, 2019
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