Mysuru, Jul 12, 2016, DHNS: Jul 12 2016, 23:50 IST
Huge demand for coconuts in North India had pushed the coconut prices to Rs 30 per piece an year ago, getting good profit for the growers. But, this year, the production of the nuts has increased while the price slumped due to the huge influx of coconut from South Asia and Southeast Asian nations, leaving the local farmers in trouble.
According to the Horticulture department, the demand for coconuts has come down due to globalisation. It may be mentioned that large quantities of coconuts from Karnataka and Kerala are transported to North, especially Rajasthan for bakery products and others.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene secretary Badagalapura Nagendra said, "Due to globalisation, coconuts grown in other countries are being imported. Companies manufacturing coconut products are importing coconuts in large numbers from foreign countries.”
Change in lifestyle has also affected the demand for coconut oil, as it is believed that consuming coconut oil is harmful for health. Many people have shunned using fresh coconuts in food. Pure coconut oil has been replaced by other hair oils from multi-national companies.
Coconut crop, grown on 25,250 hectares, last year, has increased to 25,700 hectare, this year. In addition, 60,000 coconut saplings have been distributed under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, say officials.
"Farmers organisations have been seeking permission for Neera production, which has not been considered by the government so far. Kerala government has already permitted the growers there to tap Neera from the palms,” Nagendra said.
CFTRI offers technology
Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) and Defence Food Research Laboratory in the city have tested and developed various processed products using coconuts. With CFTRI experts ready for the transfer of technologies (TOT), the farmers may contact experts and make use of the technology. Here are a few products that have been developed by the CFTRI:
Virgin coconut oil: Virgin coconut oil is rich in lauric fatty acid and contains vitamin E. It has long shelf life compared to other vegetable oils, due to its anti-oxidant properties. It is used as a hair conditioner. It is also rich in magnesium, potassium calcium and iron, and prevents fungus and bacterial infection.
Instant coconut rice mix: This is a ready to reconstitute spiced mix having coconut and rice flakes as major ingredients.
Instant filling powder: Filling powder is a ready to reconstitute coconut-based product that can be used as a stuffing in many traditional sweet preparations.
Coconut bites: It is a ready-to-eat snack having the characteristic flavour of fresh coconut. Variations in the taste can be made by using different flavours during product preparation.
Other products are coconut milk powder, which can be used for sweet preparations in place of raw coconuts; coconut cheese, coconut paste, which can be used as a spread for sandwich, chapathi, dosas and others.
For technology transfer and details, contact 0821-2514534, or visit www.cftri.com.