Make different coconut products with added value to keep the industry going: CBD
A senior official of the Coconut Development Board (CDB) said that the falling price of coconut oil shows how important it is to make different products with added value to keep the industry going in a competitive market.
KS Sebastian, the Deputy Director of CDB, spoke at the annual general meeting of the Cochin Oil Merchants Association (COMA). He said that product diversification offers a lot of business opportunities and that COMA should take the lead in helping its members get those benefits by working together.
The idea of ‘wealth from waste’ is becoming more popular, and the coconut industry should focus on this to make more money from waste. The Board has taken a number of steps to promote the coconut brand, and COMA members, who are focused on both exports and production, should take full advantage of the potential to come up with more value-added products to boost their income.
Coconut oil is important and widely used in the domestic market, and the product has become popular enough over the years that it doesn’t need any marketing.
Using the example of rising exports of activated carbon, which helped India set a record for coconut product exports at ₹3,200 crores, Sebastian said that 60–70% of the export revenue (₹2,000 crores) comes from coconut shells, which are a byproduct.
Take advantage of chances to grow
Sebastian went on to say that COMA members should come up with new projects by taking advantage of the Board’s incentive programs for the technical know-how and promoting products.
Under the Technology Mission in Coconut, the incentive programs are back and better than ever. COMA members should take advantage of these chances to grow and improve their businesses. So far, only a small part of the association has taken advantage of what the Board has to offer.
Rajesh Jose, Vice President of COMA, said that farmers are losing money because the prices of coconut and other products are going down. He said that the Board should give subsidies to the existing players in the coconut oil market instead of giving subsidies to new players.
Small mills are popping up all over the state, which is hurting the businesses of people who are in it for the long haul. He also asked CDB to add a member from COMA to the Board so that the group could talk directly to the government about their problems.