India, which was a major importer of palm oil and coconut oil from Malaysia and Indonesia and Sri Lanka to meet its vegetable oil requirements, has now started exporting coconut oil to these countries in a big way.
For the first time, India also started exporting large quantities of dry coconut to US and European countries, according to minister of agriculture and farmers’ welfare Radha Mohan Singh.
The government, in its new Foreign Trade Policy for 2015-20, has declared up to 5 per cent incentive in the export value (FOB) for the promotion of coconut product export, he said, adding that a quantum leap in the export of coconut products is expected in the near future as the price of coconut products is becoming highly competitive.
The National Horticulture Mission, the minister said, is implementing various aspirational schemes for the integrated development of coconut in the country and through these schemes farmers throughout the country get updated on scientific coconut cultivation, product processing, marketing and export.
The Coconut Development Board has made significant contribution for the remarkable achievements made in the coconut industry in the country. But, he said, coconut farmers can be led to prosperity only through value addition of coconut. The Coconut Development Board is implementing the Technology Mission on Coconut programme under which 480 coconut processing units have been established with a capacity to process 2,740 million nuts per year.
He said under the Modi government the board has taken up many new initiatives for the development of coconut in the country. He said that 9,633 coconut producer societies, 740 coconut producer federations and 67 coconut producer companies have been established in the country.
He said all schemes of the board will be implemented through farmer collectives and the farmers will assert their right over the processing, marketing and import of coconut products.
The Coconut Development Board has also made laudable achievements under its skill development in coconut sector.
The board through its various sponsored research programmes has brought before the world the goodness of not only coconut oil but also tender coconut and other coconut products. “Now we know that coconut oil has medium chain fatty acids which is disease resistant and heart friendly and virgin coconut oil can prevent premature ageing. Research has shown that virgin coconut oil is effective in curing diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer diseases.”
The minister appealed to the people to take up this sacred fruit, which is the identity of our tradition and culture, and enjoy the innumerable benefits of this fruit for the wellness of our families.
The government has increased the minimum support price of milling copra from Rs6,500 per quintal to Rs7,511 per quintal and for ball copra from Rs6,785 per quintal to Rs7,757 per quintal.