Rs. 54 lakh grant for CPCRI

TIRUCHI APRIL 28. The Asian Development Bank, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, would each be advancing Rs.27 lakhs to the Central Plantation Crop Research Institute (CPCRI), at Kasargod for developing sustainable coconut-based income generating technologies in poor rural communities in India.

The ADB will advance Rs.27 lakhs for documenting and studying methods for increasing yields by introducing through community managed nurseries, high-yielding and high-value varieties, value addition to coconut products from coconut kernel, husk, shell, water, wood, leaves etc. and increasing farm productivity by intercropping, and livestock and fodder production.

Giving the information to mediamen, V.Rajagopal, Director, CPCRI said that the programme also included training of women, coconut farmers, researchers, extension workers etc. and the project would be implemented in selected villages Kasargod, Vayalar and Vayalar districts in Kerala, and in Ariyankuppam on Pondicherry state, during the next three years.

IFAD Project

The IFAD was advancing Rs.27 lakhs for developing new technologies as a strategy to promote poverty reductions and on-farm conservation of coconut genetic resources, in India. The programme would be implemented in Kasangadu in Pattukottai taluk in Thanjavur district, Kepu in Bantwal taluk of Karnataka, and Ambajipatti in Mukkamala taluk of Andhra Pradesh.

Dr.Rajagopal who attended the ADB-IFAD workshop in Vietnam last month, said that India, Phillippines, and Indonesia, got approval from both the ADB and IFAD. An integrated and multi-disciplinary approach would be adopted to improve the income of the farmers, by value addition.

Even though only 32 percent of the coconut produced was converted into oil, the price of coconut was based on value of oil in the market. Coconut oil price continued to be low owing to competition from other edible oils, and naturally coconut farmers were not able to earn a reasonable income.

The low priority assigned to technological research was one reason for the same. Many smaller coconut producing countries were able to earn foreign exchange by exporting diverse coconut products like coconut honey, coconut milk based products, tender coconut water, coconut sugar, besides shell based products, coir products etc. Under the two new projects, focus will be on selecting the most suited technologies, which could be adopted easily, and transfer the technology to the coconut growers. Dr.Rajagopal said.

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