In an attempt to promote coconut by-product industries and ensure more profits to the farmers , the Coconut Development Board (CDB) has decided to set up such industries in the district, involving the coconut growers.
Coconut is cultivated in 49,697 hectares in the district with an annual production of 8,190 million coconuts. The coconut groves yield an average annual production of 120 coconuts from each tree on par with the production in Kerala. But with no by-product industries, the farmers are unable to get more profit.
In Andhra Pradesh, coconut is cultivated in 3.20 lakh acres producing Rs 200 crore worth of coconuts per annum. Many coconut growers in the state are just confined to cultivating coconut and are not showing interest in the production of by-products of coconuts, coconut tree, like in Kerala for various reasons.
In Kerala, the growers are trading in at least 13 coconut by-products and earning good profits. But, 80 per cent of the coconuts, produced in Andhra Pradesh, are being sold to traders directly and the rest are converted in to dry coconut.
Only a small chunk of the farmers produce coconut oil and coir products. Though the CDB and Coir Board are providing many subsidies, farmers are not coming forward to start coconut by-product industries.
As a part of the scheme, the CDB will set up Coconut Producers’ Society (CPS) comprising 40 farmers who have at least 11 coconut trees of their own. Sixty CPS will form into a federation and 30 such federations will make a company. The CDB will provide a fund of `50 crore to each company.