On Friday, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) voted to raise the minimum support prices (MSPs) for copra by 3–7 percent for the 2023 season. This is because market prices have gone down.
For the 2023 season, the MSP for Fair Average Quality milling copra has been set at ₹10,860 per quintal and ₹11,750 per quintal for ball copra. ‘This is a ₹270/quintal increase for milling copra and a ₹750/quintal increase for ball copra from the last season,’ an official statement said. In Kerala, the season begins in December, while in Tamil Nadu it begins in April and lasts for about six months.
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Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur told the media after the CCEA meeting that the approval was based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices and the opinions of the major coconut-growing States. He also said that the decision to raise the MSP would ensure a margin of 51.82 percent for milling copra and 64.26 percent for ball copra over the all-India weighted average cost of production (A2+Family Labor).
He also said that the announced MSP for copra for the 2023 season is in line with the principle that the MSP should be set at a level that is at least 1.5 times the all-India weighted average cost of production, as stated in the Government’s Budget for 2018-19.
The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (NCCF) will continue to act as nodal agencies for buying copra and de-husked coconut directly from farmers under the Price Support Scheme (PSS) when market prices fall below MSPs.
As Business Line reported earlier, the price of copra has gone down since NAFED decided to sell copra bought from farmers on the open market.
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Prices for copra are around ₹87 per kg in Kerala and ₹82 per kg in Tamil Nadu. Traders said prices were on their way back up to ₹96 after falling to ₹76 two months ago. But NAFED’s decision has made prices go up even more. Under the procurement scheme, NAFED bought about 40,600 tonnes of milling copra from Tamil Nadu and 255.55 tonnes from Kerala during the 2022 season. This was done through a number of different channels.