The United Farmers Association-South India has objected to the move to restrict the licence for making ‘neera’ (sweet toddy) to societies and their federations that are registered with Coconut Board.

At a meeting here, the State committee of the association demanded that all farmers be made eligible to make ‘neera’ from coconut trees. The association expressed disappointment that only one representative of coconut growers had been given representation in the committee appointed by the State government to study the issues related to the production of ‘neera,’ while workers had as many as four representatives.

P.V. Gangadharan, president of the association, and K.T. Prasad, general secretary, in a statement on Monday urged the State government to take ‘neera’ out of the purview of Abkari Act, instead of making amendments to the Act to facilitate ‘neera’ production.

In other States

It was pointed out that in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Lakshadweep, ‘neera’ was not covered by Abkari laws.

The association would send a delegation to submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister and the Excise Minister to request them to issue, without further delay, the order that would facilitate ‘neera’ production.

Mr. Gangadharan presided over the meeting of the State committee.

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