Govt will continue to support farmers to promote coconut cultivation: Agriculture Minister

Govt will continue to support farmers to promote coconut cultivation: Agriculture Minister

Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar has said that the Centre would continue to provide all possible assistance to the farmers in the coastal states to promote coconut cultivation in the country. The efforts made in the field of research and development in the last few years have resulted in the development of new technologies in the field of farming and processing and further improved the available technologies. With the increase in the number of coconut-based industries in the country, new products and many employment opportunities are also increasing in the market. Tomar was addressing the Coconut Community Farmers’ Conference in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

Tomar further said that he was happy to be among the coconut farmers, he congratulated the Coconut Development Board and Sugarcane Breeding Institute for their initiatives towards the prosperity of the coconut growers’ community. He said that the agriculture sector was the backbone of the country’s economy, so it was the responsibility of the Central and state governments to strengthen it, promote it and ensure profitable farming for the farmers. The contribution of coconut cultivation to the agricultural economy is very important. India is a leader in coconut cultivation and among the world’s three largest producers.

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Tamil Nadu contributes 21 per cent of the area under coconut cultivation in the country and 26 per cent of the production. Tamil Nadu ranks first in coconut processing activities and Coimbatore is first in terms of area under coconut cultivation, with an area of 88,467 hectares under coconut cultivation. Tomar said that the farmers are making a significant contribution to the development of the coconut sector and increasing the agricultural economy. Coconut Development Board is forming a three-tier farmer group by integrating small and marginal farmers. Presently there are 697 coconut growers societies, 73 coconut growers federations and 19 coconut-producing companies in the state. Support has been given to set up 537 new processing units in India with a processing capacity of 3,638 million coconuts per year. This success has been achieved through a mission programme implemented by the Coconut Development Board in the country. Out of these, 136 units are from Tamil Nadu, which is creating employment opportunities and also helping improve the financial condition of the farmers.

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Tomar said that even after everything is favourable in the field of agriculture, farmers have to face natural disasters, which causes them losses. It is compensated through the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and the Tamil Nadu state schemes. Agriculture contributes significantly to strengthen the economy, he said. Agriculture is so fundamental that it has helped tide over adverse conditions like Covid-19.

During the programme, the Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare of Tamil Nadu, MRK Paneer Selvam; Vice Chairman, Coconut Development Board, KR Narayan; Joint Secretary of Union Agriculture Ministry, Dr. Vijay Lakshmi Nadendla; Central Horticulture Commissioner Prabhat Kumar; Vice Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Dr. V Geeta Lakshmi; Director of Sugarcane Breeding Institute and local public representatives along with Central and state government officials and farmer were present.

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