Export of coconut products is expected to increase in the coming years on account of better prices, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said today.
The country, which is the world's largest producer of coconut products, had exported such items worth Rs 1,450 crore in 2015-16, while the output was worth Rs 2,044 crore, he said.
The government has given thrust to export of coconut products in the foreign trade policy for 2015-20 and is giving incentives up to 5 per cent of the export value on FOB (freight on Board), he added.
"The export of coconut products is likely to rise in the future because price is being extremely competitive," Singh said while addressing farmers on the World's Coconut Day in Bhubaneswar.
India, which was an importer of coconut oil till last year, has turned an exporter of the commodity to Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka from this financial year. Dry coconut is also being exported to the US and Europe in large quantities for the first time, he said in a statement.
"Our country will become a world leader not only in the production and productivity of coconut, but also in export and processing of coconut," Singh said after giving away national awards to 14 farmers for their outstanding initiatives taken in coconut farming.
To boost coconut farming, Singh said that the central government has hiked the minimum support price of milling copra to Rs 5,950 per quintal for this year from Rs 5,550, while edible copra rate has been increased to Rs 6,240 per quintal from Rs 5,830.
Highlighting the new initiatives of Coconut Board, the Minister said that the Board has set up 9,720 coconut committees, 700 coconut producer federations and 61 coconut producer companies in the country.
"I hope the Board will operationalise its new initiatives to promote production, processing, marketing and export of coconut products through coconut producer companies," he said.
Odisha is a major coconut grower with 32.4 crore production in 50,679 hectares. The Centre has released 26.83 crore so far in the 2016-17 fiscal to the state government under the horticulture mission. The state could not spend Rs 4.15 crore in the last year, he added.
Original Source: business-standard.com
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