‘Friends of coconut trees,' an initiative launched by the Coconut Development Board to train youth in climbing the trees for harvesting, is attracting women too. Of the 230 people selected across Kerala for the palm-climbing training this week, 45 are women.

The CDB's project, launched recently to tide over the manpower crisis in the sector, aims at training 5,000 persons for taking up assorted jobs required for coconut farms. Over 1,900 people have already been trained and a list of those who have completed training is posted on the CDB website, with their mobile numbers. The board hopes that women will constitute 30 per cent of the participants.

Twenty-four women from Munrothuruthu, Kottarakkara, and Sasthamkotta are being trained at the Krishi Vignan Kendra at Sadanandapuram in Kollam. In another batch in Kozhikode, 21 women from Kattippara panchayat are undergoing training. The board is providing stipend and uniform for selected applicants. More people will be chosen for the forthcoming training sessions, according to the officials of the Board.

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