Fall in neera production hits Kerala
Thrissur: The shortage in production of neera has affected the export in Kerala. Though foreign countries have placed orders for crores of rupees, the state has failed to export the product.
Neera got a good market in international level after foreign companies came to know about the product through the expos of Coconut Development Board and other agencies.
DMA Services, a company based in Estonia, has informed that they are interested in the sale of neera in UK. But the shortage of neera production is a crucial issue as the demand is higher than the production.
Twin Board from Hyderabad has approached the Coconut Development Board with a demand of 50,000 neera bottles to export to Dubai.
They have demanded 250 ml neera in tetra pack or aluminum packets for 5 years. But the board has not given a reply to the company yet.
Vietnam-based company had also shown interest to know about neera and export the product through air cargo. But neera companies in Kerala have not responded to this foreign company.
Mercosul, a Brazilian company, has also informed that they are ready for sale of neera in the US and Brazil. But they have dropped the project after finding about the shortage in production.
Representatives of Greenlabs, a company in Uttar Pradesh, visited Kerala to take part in the sale but forced to leave in disgust.
Foreigners demand neera in tetra packs. But all companies in Kerala sell neera packed in plastic bottles.
Neera production in Kerala
An average of 40,000 litres of neera is produced in Kerala in 2016. But the production marked a tremendous fall and reached an average production of 10,000 litres at present.
Seven companies registered under Coconut Development Board are manufacturing neera in Kerala. Earlier, 2500 neera tappers were in Kerala but now the number of neera tappers have decreased largely. Majority of the neera tappers are migrant labourers.
Neera is a sweet and nutritious drink extracted from coconut flowers. Even diabetic patients can drink neera.
The state government has earmarked Rs 30 crore in the state budget to promote neera. It has been declared that neera will be served as one of the beverages at government guest houses and public functions. But the authorities fail to execute the plan yet.