Project supports coconut farmers to get better yield

Updated - March 14, 2024 06:10 pm IST

Published - March 14, 2024 06:09 pm IST - COIMBATORE

Mani, a coconut farmer at Negamam in Coimbatore district, gets almost 25% higher yield compared to four years ago. His coconut trees on three acres were hit by pest attacks. He was able to overcome the challenge and increase yield after joining the Kalpavriksha project.

Sasikumar, who has 200 coconut trees at Negamam, says it took 1.5 years for the yield to start improving after his trees were hit by disease four years ago. He also joined the Kalpavriksha project as resources persons were accessible during any time of the day and were ready to offer solutions.

According to Amit Bhasin, Chief Legal Officer and secretary of the CSR Committee of Marico, the Parachute Kalpavriksha Foundation has impacted nearly 81,000 coconut farmers such as Mani and Sasikumar, mostly in Tamil Nadu. The project is active in Pollachi and nearby areas for almost two decades and encourages farmers to go in for farm ponds.

“Access to modern technology in farming, equipment, and water management are the main areas of focus through the project,” he said. Concentrating on small and marginal farmers, the Foundation’s thrust is now on digital tools that will benefit the farmers. It is working with an University to develop an automatic coconut plucking machine and the prototype is under trial, he said.

Through another pilot project, it is working with farmers, enabling them to benefit from government schemes and programmes. It has set up agro business centres run by farmers. They are trained in agri techniques and rent out at nominal rates agri tools, Mr. Bhasin added.

With higher yield, the farmers say they are able to realise higher revenue though coconut prices are down for more than a year now.

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