To meet the spike in demand for coconut pluckers a team of 40 youngsters from the district are being trained in coconut tree climbing here.
“There is a rise in demand for coconut pluckers in the city due to shortage of traditional climbers. The programme aims to create a group of youngsters who will take coconut tree climbing as a profession,” said C.P. George, the coordinator of the course.
The training sessions are being held as part of the ‘Friends of Coconut trees’ programme initiated by the Coconut Development Board in association with the Social Welfare Centre of the Thrissur Archdiocese.
As traditional coconut-pluckers did not seem to use their remuneration wisely, special training was being given to help youngsters manage money, Mr. George said.
Special sessions on personality development, leadership qualities, banking and insurance are part of the programme.
The trainees will get a stipend of Rs. 150 per day and a climbing machine worth Rs. 2,500 will be awarded to successful candidates after the training.
Lessons on climbing coconut trees using machines, various diseases that affect coconut trees, identifying tender coconut, proper usage of fertilisers and pesticides, drip irrigation, crop rotation, mixed cropping and preparation of different products from tender coconuts were covered under the training.
“Experts from Agriculture University, Vellanikkara, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) led the classes,” said Mr. George.
He said a training programme for women would also be ganised soon.