The 37-foot-long yard can process 75,000 coconuts a month; unit also has a coconut breaking yard

From now on, coconut farmers need not struggle for converting coconut into copra as they have a solar drier unit for conversion of copra, first of its kind in the district. It will be a boon to coconut farmers for adding value to their produces.

Established in Chinnamanur, the unit has a coconut breaking yard and 37-foot-long drying yard for coconut. It has all technical equipment to maintain temperature and humidity. Inaugurating the drying yard here on Wednesday, Collector K.S. Palanisamy said that the yard would process 75,000 coconuts a month. For example, the yard would process 7,500 coconuts in three days' time. An automatic sensor was also installed to maintain constant temperature in the yard.

The unit has an exhaust fan that could start automatically when the temperature crossed 60 degrees celsius.

When the temperature slumped below 29 degree celsius, a burner attached with the unit would pump hot air into the yard to maintain the required temperature. Farm wastes could be used to operate the burner to generate hot air, he pointed out.

The recurring expenditure was almost nil. Humidity would be scaled down to 7 per cent from 58 per cent.

Moreover, the quality of copra would be ensured and protected from dust and rain. Colour and quality of copra would also be maintained and nutrients retained.

There was no need to use chemicals to maintain white colour in copra, a determining factor for fixing the price.

The unit could also be used during winter adopting heat exchanger technologies.

It would take at least 100 hours to make copra under direct sunlight. But the duration of conversion would be slashed to 40 hours in this method.

It would be a boon to farmers. Value addition of coconut would certainly enhance their profit.

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