Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The Coconut Development Board has launched a programme for supply of tender coconut through mobile vending units.

The programme is part of a promotion scheme initiated by the board. The scheme was inaugurated on Friday by Ernakulam MP Sebastian Paul.

Dr. Paul observed that the number of consumers of tender coconut was on the rise in urban areas in the State. The scheme would help increase this demand, which in turn would benefit the coconut farmers here, he said.

Minnie Mathew, Chairman of the board, underlined the need for strengthening the market for coconut and coconut-based products in the country.

Kerala scenario

Coconut production in Kerala was less than the national average, she said.

The board was providing assistance to farmers for improving yield. More funds had been allocated for the current year for this.

Reduced cost

The coconut vending machines costing around Rs.10,000 were being given to the vendors for just Rs.1,000.

M. Thomas Mathew, Chief Coconut Development Officer, said that use of coconut water was on the rise in Kerala. The demand is expected to go up further, with tourism promotion activities in full swing.

Kochi Mayor Mercy Williams lauded the programme and said better technology would help maintain hygiene.

K. Muralidharan, Director, Coconut Development Board, K.M. Salih and B. Ravikumar, members of Coconut Development Board, spoke on the occasion.