Monitoring panel directive to cooperative societies

Copra procurement by cooperative societies in Kozhikode district is expected to be back on track by the end of next week with most of the societies agreeing to start the process immediately.

A meeting of the district-level monitoring committee, convened by District Collector K.V. Mohan Kumar on Tuesday, had directed the societies to start procurement immediately.

As many as 41 cooperative societies in Kozhikode district had been entrusted with the task of procuring copra from local farmers. Most societies had not been doing the work due to the various risks involved. Regional Manager of Kerafed (Kerala Kerakarshaka Sahakarana Federation Ltd.) V.V. Hamza told The Hindu that it was the responsibility of the societies to ensure that the copra was properly dried to meet international standards. Most societies cited lack of facilities and staff to evade responsibility, sources said.

The cost of copra came to Rs.5,100 per quintal when procured by the societies. But the farmers got less than Rs.4,000 per quintal when they sold it in the open market. The coconut producers' societies set up by the Coconut Development Board had been planning to procure copra. Though there were 228 such societies only one had been able to start procurement. Most of these societies were new and lacked facilities. The Janasree self-help groups had also been procuring copra. The copra procurement agencies supplied copra to Nafed, Kerafed, or Market Fed for further processing.

Farmers had been suffering huge losses due to the poor show by cooperative societies.

Cooperatives Deputy Registrar C.V. Nalini told The Hindu here on Wednesday that around 100 quintals of copra had already been procured.

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