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Centre mulls subsidy on coconut oil

Special Correspondent

K. V. Thomas opens retail outlet for coconut products in Kochi

Photo: Special Arrangement

MARKETING COCONUT:Union Minister of State for Agriculture K. V. Thomas inaugurating ‘Palm Gate' an outlet for coconut products, in Kochi on Friday. —

KOCHI: The Union Ministry of Agriculture is considering a proposal for providing subsidy to coconut oil in Kerala. The details will be worked out in consultation with the State government during the forthcoming visit of Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to the State. A programme for providing subsidy to indigenous palm oil in Andhra Pradesh would be launched soon. The subsidy scheme for coconut oil could be on similar lines.

This was disclosed by the Union Minister of State for Agriculture K. V. Thomas while inaugurating a retail outlet for coconut products at the Coconut Development Board office complex here on Friday. The opening of outlet, called CDB- Nafed Palm Gate', is a joint initiative of the Coconut Development Board and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (Nafed).

The Minister said Nafed, with over 40 branch offices in the country, could act as a facilitator for marketing quality coconut products. Nafed had already launched a similar initiative in Delhi. Such outlets would be able to eliminate the intermediaries. Products such as tender coconut water need to be promoted as a health drink and innovations were required for marketing, he said.

The Minister also unveiled the foundation for a building to facilitate the marketing of coconut products. Subsidy to various entrepreneurs in the coconut-based agri-business sector was also distributed on the occasion. Finance would not be a constraint on development projects in the farming sector, he said.

The CDB has launched a coconut plantation rejuvenation programme, with an outlay of over Rs.470 crore. The project would be undertaken initially in Thiruvanathapuram, Kollam and Thrissur districts.

C.V.Ananda Bose, chairman, CDB, presided over the function. Vinduja Menon, cine artist, launched a special cart designed for marketing of tender coconut water. Dominic Presentation, MLA, R.Sundararama Raju, vice-chairman, CDB, M.Sukumara Pillai, Chairman, Kerafed, B.Ravikumar, member, CDB, spoke.

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