Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala's annual production of coconuts has fallen drastically due to infection of trees. A worried government is seeking financial help from the central government to meet the crisis.
"The annual production, which once stood at 700 crores (7 billion), has come down to 4.25 billion. The main reason is that one third of the 160 million coconut trees are affected with diseases," Left Democratic Front legislator C.K.P. Padmanabhan told the state assembly Friday.
He asked the government to come to the rescue of the nearly four million coconut farmers in Kerala.
Padmanabhan said sales of coconut oil had also gone down due to the central government's unfavourable import policies. Sales suffered when the import duty for soya bean oil and palm oil were relaxed.
He added: "The centre currently only allows procurement of copra (dried coconut). It should now come out with schemes and subsidies for procuring raw coconuts (green coconuts) as well."