Farmers seek supply of branded coconut oil by NAFED

December 06, 2023 08:43 pm | Updated 11:45 pm IST - TIRUPPUR

Coconut farmers in Tiruppur have joined their counterparts elsewhere in the State in making a strong case before NAFED National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) for coming out with ‘Bharat’ brand of coconut oil in the interest of the agricultural community in the country.

The plea comes in the context of the NAFED reportedly attempting to auction the copra procured from the farmers to private entities.

The federation had procured copra from farmers for over ₹100 that is inclusive of the subsidy component. But, the farmers have been given to understand that the copra will be auctioned in the range of ₹65 per kg.

This will impact the farmers drastically as the price in the open market will crash to ₹60 per kg from the prevailing level of ₹85, a Tiruppur-based representative of Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Protection Movement said.

The NAFED, in fact, procures only 10% of copra and the rest is sold by the farmers in the open market. The farmers have already been complaining that the prevailing price in the open market is far from being remunerative.

The coconut farmers are apprehensive that auctioning of copra to private entities will only perpetuate cartelisation adding to their misery.

Instead, the Central Government should decide on supply of coconut oil as a healthy alternative to palm oil through the ration outlets.

To buttress their point, the farmers cite what they term as overwhelming public patronage for the ‘Bharat’ brand atta and onion sold at attractive price points by NAFED across the country.

“The Central Government ought to have replaced palm oil imported from Malaysia and Indonesia with coconut oil for the purpose of supply through public distribution outlets long back. Nevertheless, the State Government, on its part, ought to keep its poll promise to supply coconut oil to Public Distribution System beneficiaries,” Rajalingam, a coconut farmer belonging to Kangeyam said.

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