Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that the Coconut Development Board’s (CDB) major schemes are focusing on coconut production, productivity, processing for coconut products, value addition, marketing, and export promotion in Bihar. The Minister said this today on the occasion of the inauguration of the Farmers’ Training Centre cum Regional Office Building of Coconut Development Board in Patna.
The Minister said that India is leading in the global coconut production and productivity. He said that the annual coconut production is 2395 crore from 20.82 lakh hectare and the productivity is 11505 coconuts/hectare. Coconut contributes to about Rs.27900 crore to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the year 2016-17, coconut products worth of Rs.2084 crore were exported. More than one crore population depends on coconut cultivation for their livelihood. The aim of the CDB is to assist the coconut farmers in coconut production, processing, marketing and export of value-added coconut products thereby to make India the global leader in coconut production, productivity, processing, and export.
Shri Singh said that the country has witnessed an increase in coconut export. During the period 2013 -15, coconut production was 42,104 million nuts whereas 44,405 million nuts were produced during the period of 2015-17. The export value of coconut products has increased from Rs.3017.30 crore during 2011-14 to Rs. 4846.36 crore, which is 60.62% more, which is an achievement. In the year 2016, we started exporting coconut oil to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka, the countries from where we were importing earlier. For the first time, desiccated coconut is being exported to the US and Europe in large quantities from India. The Minister said that the coconut cultivation can be taken up even in homesteads in Bihar with proper management. Currently, 14,900 hectare is under coconut cultivation. As per the Board’s estimation, a nearly 50,000-hectare area in Bihar is suitable for coconut cultivation under irrigated condition. Consider this, the farmers who train at the Farmers Training Centre can consider coconut cultivation. In addition, an increase in coconut production will lead to employment generation. More people will get employment through the production of various coconut based products like coconut chips, coconut milk, coconut sugar, coconut water, tender coconut water, coconut honey, coconut jaggery, coconut milkshake, coconut snacks, virgin coconut oil, coconut natural cream, more nee cookies and other products.
Shri Singh informed that CDB had sanctioned Rs.409.01 lakh for the implementation of coconut related schemes in Bihar for the year 2014 to 2017. To increase the area under coconut cultivation in Bihar, the focus is on ‘Expansion of area under coconut’ scheme and financial assistance is being provided under the scheme for the new plantations. For the demonstration of the scientific coconut cultivation, Rs. 46.25 lakh has been allocated for the scheme ‘Laying out of Demonstration Plot’ for the period of 2017-18.