KOCHI: In its efforts towards branding products to achieve global recognition, Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar said the government is in the process of GI certification for 14 new products from the state. “This includes Tirur betel leaves, Vattavada ginger, Alappuzha brand of turmeric, Attappadi thora,” said Sunil Kumar.
He was speaking at the CII’s Food Summit on Wednesday. Though Kerala leads in coconut production in the country, productivity per hectare has dropped to 7,000 when compared to near 10,000 per hectare, in a state like Jharkhand. “Compared to major coconut producing regions like Sri Lanka whose share of value-addition stands to 50 per cent, Kerala stands at 3 to 4 per cent (excluding oil extraction). Similarly, with rubber, the state accounts for 95 per cent of the total production in the country. But, value addition in the state stands at two per cent,” said Sunil Kumar.
He said the trend of commodity prices dropping is a deplorable trend. “The value addition in Kerala’s agriculture sector is less than three per cent, which restricts farmers to get the benefit of better prices in the market,” said the Minister. He said there’s enough demand for quality produce from the state and urged industry to leverage the opportunity in catering to the global demands.