Marico, the company behind popular brands such as Parachute and Saffola, has been roped in by the CDB for its cluster farming programme at Malappuram in Kerala. Termed as an initiative with a common goal for long-term sustenance of the coconut crop, the initiative has 22 clusters under which as many as 3,500 farmers make use of the programme in Malappuram.
Besides, free distribution of organic and chemical fertilisers, pesticides, intercrop activities are being provided. Training for better farm management practices and coconut tree climbing using climbing machines are also part of the initiative.
In a bid to ensure long-term sustainability of coconut farming and copra conversions, Marico is also engaged directly with farmers and copra converters through its collection centre initiative. Marico's copra collection centre initiative is seen as benefiting around 50,000 farmers in Kerala and neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
The collection centre initiative has been started over the last five years and fosters an air of trust between the farmer and Marico, a company spokesperson said. Marico currently sources copra for its Parachute brand from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
CDB's coconut farming programme focuses on cluster approach and has gained momentum due to its transparency in implementation and farmer participation. The board is now in the process of promoting scientific farming practices, free distribution of agriculture inputs, promoting intercropping with the coconut crop.
Marico and the CDB, in association with the farmers in Malappuram, also conducted a Coconut Festival in the district this week. The festival got underway on August 24 with a variety of events, including inter-cluster tug of wars, painting competitions for children in the cluster, quiz programme for farmers, selection of best farmer who would be chosen for the Parachute Kerashree award, scholarship for students with good academic records, cooking competition on coconut recipes for house wives, technical session on post harvest practices and pest management.
Marico has also said that it would subsidise 25 per cent of the cost for farmers setting up copra dryers. This is besides the 25 per cent subsidy already extended by the CDB. "This total subsidy of 50 per cent is expected to help farmers in the cluster to get into value addition in coconut by converting it into copra," the spokesperson added.
6 months ago