“Coconut is having a strong influence in the national economy of the country’: Narendra Singh Tomar
To commemorate the foundation day of the International Coconut Community (ICC), an intergovernmental organization of coconut producing countries under the aegis of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP),World Coconut Day Celebration was addressed by Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India.
The ICC, formerly known as Asia Pacific Coconut Community was established under the aegis of UNESCAP in 1969. The event aims to create increased awareness on the importance of coconut and focus national and international attention on coconut sector.
The theme announced by ICC in 2021, for its 23rd edition of celebrations, is “Building a safe, inclusive resilient and sustainable coconut community amid Covid-19 pandemic and beyond”. In India, World Coconut Day is celebrated every year under aegis of Coconut Development Board. The Board functions under Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare, Government of India for the integrated development of coconut sector in the country.
Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Hon’ble Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare in his inaugural address said “Coconut is having a strong influence in the national economy of the country. India leads the coconut growing countries in production and productivity though area under coconut is lower than other major coconut growing countries. The production of coconut in India during 2020-21 was 21207 million nuts which accounts for more than 34% of the global production.
The productivity has been recorded at 9687 nuts per hectare which is highest in the world. New products are brought into the markets and coconut industries are growing in numbers, which are creating more employment opportunities to many a farmers. There are at present 9785 Coconut Producer Societies, 747 Federations and 67 Coconut Producer Companies covering 120 million palms belonging to 10 lakh coconut growers.”
Sushri Shobha Karandlaje, Hon’ble Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India in her special address observed that “it is a matter of immense pride that our country leads in global coconut production and productivity. Since the farmers are small and marginal, the future of our domestic coconut industry lies in our ability to aggregate and pool farm level coconut production, take up processing and value addition for better income realization and give major thrust to product diversification and finding industrial utilization of various by-products and their value addition.”
Shri Kailash Choudhary, Hon’ble Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India said that “the coconut processing sector offers immense potential for diversification of product basket and improved investments in traditional and innovative coconut products. Coconut can be made a part of the ‘Make in India’ campaign being undertaken by the Government of India. Coconut sector can also be a part of the campaign by increasing production and export of value added products.”
Shri Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India said that “Coconut Development Board is working with the mission to develop a globally competitive coconut sector that contributes to food security, health and nutrition, remunerative price for the coconut farmer and enhanced export earnings for the country and to make India the global leader in value addition and processing in coconut sector.Export of coconut products excluding coir products during the year 2020-21 touched Rs. 2294.82 crore recording an increase of about 30% over the previous year.”
The inauguration ceremony was also attended by senior officers of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, officers from Coconut Development Board, officers from various State Horticulture Missions and leading coconut growers across the country. The programme was followed by a technical session for coconut growers.
Dr. A. Joseph Rajkumar , Principal Scientist ICAR-CPCRI, Regional Station, Kayamkulam – 690 533 deliberated on the Advances in Palm Health Management and Mr. Venugopalan V V Senior Principal Scientist & Head, Agro processing Technology Division, CSIR NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram briefed on the Technologies for value addition of coconut water and other by products. The Technical Session was followed by Question Answer Session.