KOCHI: The state budget presented by Finance Minister Thomas Isaac seems to have found some convenient reasons to cold shoulder the coconut farmers in the state. The budget has set aside only `50 crore for the development of coconut sector in the state, which recently slipped to the third position in terms of coconut production in the country followed by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Of the total amount, `40 crore is meant for Kera Gramam project aiming to promote integrated coconut farming in clusters of 250 hectors of land or more spread across a particular region. The project also aims at processing and converting coconut into value added products.
Babu Joseph, former representative of a coconut farmer collective, said both the Union and the state budgets have failed to enliven the hopes of coconut farmers in the state. There is nothing hopeful for the farmers in the budgets presented in the past two days.