SRIKAKULAM: The coconut industry which is mostly concentrated in Uddanam region of Srikakulam district has been hit massively by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Uddanam region is known for coconut and cashew cultivation. Srikakulam district has 15,000 hectares of coconut cultivation with 12,000 hectares in Uddanam region alone.
Farmers, daily wage labourers and small merchants in this area are dependent on coconut cultivation. Due to lockdown and restrictions, daily wage labour was not available.
Exports were also hit due to restrictions. Speaking to TNIE, Pudi Nethaji a coconut farmer of Jagathi village in Uddanam region said, “Summer is a peak season for coconut exports. There is a huge demand for Uddanam coconuts in Odisha and West Bengal. Due to lockdown, markets and interstate borders were closed which led to a drop in exports. Before Covid, we used to sell each coconut for Rs 20. Whereas now, the selling price has reduced to Rs 12 only.”