KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala has urged Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to take immediate steps to examine the scope of framing and implementing a comprehensive plan to help the coconut growers in the state, in view of the plummeting prices of coconuts.
Chennithala said that there are lakhs of people who are dependent on the crop as their mainstay, whereas a similar number are partially relying on income from coconut palms. “Minus the production cost, the current prices is only enough to net 50 paise or a little more per nut in the end. The grave scenario has emerged over a period of around eight months,” he said.
In the past one decade, the extent of coconut palm cultivation and productivity in the state has come down. A total of 8,145 hectares of coconut palms have vanished in ten years, whereas coconut palm cultivation had made rapid strides in other states. If matters continued at this pace, growers would withdraw from the scene rapidly, he said. The plea which was put forward in writing has met with a positive response from Chandy. The letter of Chennithala coincides with a drive of the govt to tap the full potential of the coconut sector, with the Coconut Development Board being made as a nodal agency to come up with constructive proposals.