Desiccated coconut powder factories in doldrums

Many shut down and owners are struggling to pay the interest on loans

Coconut prices may have dropped from the recent highs of ₹40 to around ₹25, but desiccated coconut powder factories in Tumakuru are yet to recover from this price shock.

At the height of the crisis, around 90 desiccated coconut powder producing factories in Tumakuru district shut shop leaving around 20,000 workers unemployed. Many are slowly resuming production, but not at earlier levels.

The demand for desiccated coconut powder, which is used in making sweets, chocolates and confectionery, has also fallen.

“At present, we are producing only 10% of what we used to,” said Hemchandra, who runs one such factory.

H.R. Annadana Rangaiah, president of Tiptur taluk Desiccated Coconut Powder Manufacturers’ Association, said that he had to close his factory due to the sudden rise in the price of coconuts. “I will incur losses if I continue to produce desiccated coconut powder in the absence of demand,” he said adding that part of the problem was caused by adulterated desiccated coconut powder. “We cannot compete with adulterated desiccated coconut powder and, hence, many of us closed down our factories.”

They are waiting to see if prices stabilise before resuming operations. Many are struggling to pay interest on the loans taken to set up these factories, he said.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 7:51:30 AM |

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