KOCHI: Soon the people of the state will get Neera, the unfermented sap from coconut inflorescence, at their home places as the state government has ordered the local body institutions in the state to provide assistance for the marketing of Neera and its value-added processed products such as jaggery, candy, ice cream and toffee in their territories. At present, Neera is available in selected places like Secretariat, Raj Bhavan, Agriculture University, and at select outlets. With the new order, the apex body of Coconut Producers Companies registered with the Coconut Development Board (CDB), the Consortium of Coconut Producer Companies in Kerala, can install the Neera vending machines in all the three-tier panchayats, municipalities, and Corporations with their cooperation, said a CDB spokesperson. The state government took the decision in pursuant to a letter written by CDB chairman T K Jose in this regard.
Since the inception of the commercial production of Neera, 173 federations that were given licences for the production of Neera, could make a revenue of `3 crore within three months of its production. Among the federations, Malappuram Producer Company collected the largest share of revenue, followed by Kaippuzha and Palakkad companies, respectively. Coconut inflorescence sap, in its pure form is not alcoholic and contains several health ingredients and it is a rich source of proteins, vitamin C, phosphorous, calcium and iron, vital for humans.
The Consortium has organised a district-level dharna in front of the Collectorates across the state on Monday in protest against the laxity of various government agencies and renege showed by the state government towards the Neera producing coconut farmers and seeking early distribution of `30 crore fund allotted by the last budget among the producer companies registered under the Coconut Development Board.