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Kerafed to embark on diversification

Staff Reporter

Chairman says mission is to utilise the coconut palm as a whole, from its root and stem to the crown



Enhancing service:Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran inaugurating a Kerafed sales outlet at the Nilackal base camp of Sabarimala.

PATHANAMTHITTA: Kerala Kerakarshaka Sahakarana Federation Ltd. (Kerafed), which has registered record profits during the past few years, is soon to embark on a diversification mission, says its chairman M. Sukumara Pillai.

Talking to The Hindu here on Friday, Mr. Sukumara Pillai said Kerafed's mission is to utilise the coconut palm as a whole, from its root and stem to the crown.

According to him, Kerafed is seriously thinking of setting up industrial units to produce value-added coconut palm products, exploiting its immense market potential in the domestic and international market.

Financial base

He says the foundations of Kerafed have been strengthened with the support it received from Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac and the concerted efforts of the employees. The Minister has taken a progressive stand in the case of Kerafed, which had become more or less a sinking ship owing to maladministration.

The trade profit of Kerafed is expected to cross Rs.7 crore this year and for the first time in its two-decade-old history, the federation is planning to issue dividends. Though the coconut sector is devoid of any special consideration from the Union government, Kerafed has succeeded in establishing its strong presence in the domestic market, he says. All edible items, except copra and coconut oil, have been supported with lucrative subsidy. Due consideration to the coconut farming sector, as in the case of rubber, is needed to save the crisis-ridden sector, he says.

Kerafed is planning to set up palm wood processing units with financial aid from the Kerala Financial Corporation to produce value-added products, a major attraction in the global market. Kerafed is seriously considering enhancement of the service conditions of its employees.

It has opened a sales outlet for its edible coconut oil, hair oil, etc, at the Nilackal base camp of Sabarimala.

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