Kerala Governor P Sathasivam has urged farmers to double their farm income by focusing on value addition to coconut.
Sathasivam said value additions to coconut, like coconut powder and coconut chips, have a high export value.
He was speaking after inaugurating an innovators’ meet organised by ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), Kasaragod on Saturday.
He urged the farmers to take up mixed farming on their land.
He said he is proud to be a son of a farmer from Erode district. “Due to the close proximity to the Cauvery river, there was no scarcity for water and our family was engaged in cultivating sugarcane and paddy. After I retired as chief justice, I had decided to take up coconut farming and settle down,” he said.
Lauding the objective behind the programme, he said such programmes are relevant in the post-flood scenario in Kerala to overcome poverty.
“The GDP in the country has declined in the past few years. The plantation crops not only provide employment but also support the growth of the GDP,” he added.
Observing that that area under coconut cultivation in Kerala has declined, the governor said the productivity has increased in the state.
He called upon the farmers to negotiate with the companies and make them purchase products locally.
He said the government may set up processing units in the future to process, generate wealth from waste and improve the environment for agri-business.
The exchange of MoA (Memorandum of Agreement) between CPCRI for Startup Green with Kerala Startup Mission, GoK, Thiruvananthapuram also took place on the occasion.
Dr Raju Narayana Swamy, chairman, Coconut Development Board (CDB) Kochi, emphasised on the role of CPCRI in saving the farmers from distress.
He backed the organic farming culture and giving a facelift to the sector from mere farming for the production of the commodity to a new horizon of entrepreneurship for development.
The governor released the publications ‘Proceedings of the Workshop on Arecanut and Human Health’ and ‘Samruthy - Coir Pith Compost’ by Sebastian.
Entrepreneurs, Yamuna Reddy, Pragathi Enterprises, AP; Rammohan, Umapathy Farms, TN; Nagaraja S R, ProB, Bengaluru; Mahesh Bhat, SriKalpa, Industries, Kumbla; Dinesh Pias, Krishna Plantations, Goa; Sibi Mathew, Magico, Kasaragod; Ramasesan, Gen Aeronautics, Bengaluru, S Narayanan, SPIC, Coimbatore; Sathish Pai, Hangyo Icecreams, Mangaluru and Pavithra S, Coimbatore were felicitated for being successful in their ventures in coconut-based industries.
CPCRI Director Dr P Chowdappa was present onthe occasion.