‘State doing nothing on Centre’s move’
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K. Sudhakaran, MP, has said the Centre’s push to ramp up palmolein production in the country will sound the death knell for coconut farmers in Kerala.
The Centre proposed to extend oil palm plantation cover by an additional 6.5 lakh hectares by 2026. Its refusal to promote coconut oil production has hit farmers in Kerala hard. The Centre has already earmarked ₹11,040 crore for the project.
Coconut prices have plummeted over the years. Pest infestations and the high cost of production plagued coconut farmers. The Centre was unwilling to waive the debt incurred by coconut farmers.
Moreover, the Centre’s move to transform virgin land into palmolein plantations would destroy biodiversity and accelerate climate change.
Mr. Sudhakaran pointed out that Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand had abandoned palmolein production. The countries were focused on reconverting the plantations to the natural forests they had once supplanted.
India’s emphasis on extending oil palm plantation cover across the country was misplaced. The Kerala government had failed to highlight the plight of coconut farmers.
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