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Thrissur: The coconut price will remain firm in the next quarter, according to the Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre (AMIC) of Kerala Agricultural University (KAU).
The price forecast on coconut by the AMIC in October 2010 had identified a likely reduction in production in the State by 15-20 per cent.
A reassessment indicates that the shortfall in production will be more than the earlier estimates because of reduction in area of production and declining productivity.
According to the AMIC, The area under coconut has been shrinking continuously since 2000 due to a host of factors. Declining productivity, depressed price, shortage of labour, high wages, and incidence of diseases are the major reasons.
The change in climate pattern and shortage of labour had affected the crop management in the State.
According to the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community, coconut production has been affected globally by climate changes during the last two years, of which the rise in temperature has hit the palms more hard.
As a result, the production in all major coconut producing countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka have been declining. The Sri Lankan government has banned export of coconut owing to rise in domestic price.
With Sri Lankan sources drying up, importers in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and West Asian countries have started outsourcing fresh nuts increasingly from India. This has kept the price of coconut firm despite the onset of ‘peak season' in the major producing States of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The summer heat has increased the demand for tender coconut.
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