HYDERABAD: If professors and scientists of horticultural universities and officials of Excise department are to believed, Neera or toddy from the palm tree will no more be the only product that a toddy-tapper could depend upon. People dependent on toddy tapping could benefit from its value added products such as jaggery and sugar as well.
At a recently held discussion by the Excise department officials with professors and scientists of horticultural universities, light was thrown on the other value added products that can be made out of Neera.
Project director of All India Coordinated Research Project on Palms (Indian Council of Agricultural University), Dr HP Maheshwarappa said that if collected hygienically, Neera will have no alcohol content. When it gets fermented, it gets converted to toddy.
The experts deliberated upon exploring the possibility of establishing industries based on value added products of Neera, said an official. Sale of Neera and preparing its value added products is already practiced in Kerala. Tamil Nadu government too, in the month of April, decided to allow extraction of Neera as farmers demanded for it.
Research has already been conducted in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on extraction of Neera from palm trees, and value added products have also been prepared. Dr Maheshwarappa said they have technology for hygienic collection of neera and making value added products. “Technology is developed for hygienic collection of Neera under refrigerated conditions so that it will not get converted into alcohol. Neera should not get exposed to air,” Dr Maheshwarappa said.