Representative Image / Photo: KK Santhosh
Vatakara: The union government has extended the timeline of copra procurement through National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) for the state of Tamil Nadu. The extension is for two more months.
Kerala’s deadline aligns with Tamil Nadu but the procurement in the state was not proactive due to multiple reasons. The union government, on request of the state government, had approved procurement of 50,000-ton copra in February. However, according to the mandate, cooperative societies buying copra for production of coconut oil cannot procure under this scheme.
As a result, parties, including KERAFED, were restricted from the procurement. Though the Kerala government batted for exemption, there was no proactive response. The state government was not able to assign a special agency for procurement. Also, the number of farmers involved in copra production too has drastically declined. The state government had directed the cooperatives to procure raw coconut and convert it to copra. However, that plan did not work.
The procurement in Kerala was comparatively lively during the last phase nearing deadline. According to latest figures, the procurement is 116 ton. On the other hand, procurement in Tamil Nadu is 15,142 ton copra.
Meanwhile, both Kerala and Tamil Nadu had requested the union government to extend their respective procurement timelines. In the wake of development related to Tamil Nadu, there is possibility that deadline of Kerala too will be extended. The parties involved also urge the state government to streamline the procurement in a proper manner.