Union Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Minister Sharad Pawar has instructed the Coconut Board of India to explore feasibility of developing the coastal area of the Saurashtra-Kutch region for coconut farming. The order comes in the wake of a fervent plea from political leaders across party lines and captains of industry from the region.
Acting on representations from trade and industry leaders,Jamnagar MPs Vikram Madam from Congress and Naranbhai Kachhadiya from BJP had written letters to Pawar and Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president Arjun Modhwadia in December 2011.
Saurashtra Vyapar Udyog Mahamandal and Jamnagar Chamber of Commerce and Industry had been pressing the request to consider developing coconut farming in the region for a long time.
Mahamandal president Parag Tejura has expressed happiness over Pawars response to the plea. He said the credit went to the positive approach adopted by Madam and Kachhadiya besides Modhwadia. Now,in a short while,we will call a meeting of those concerned either at Bhavnagar or Porbandar to work out prospects of coconut farming in the region, Tejura said.
Following the meeting,the Mahamandal along with other stakeholders plans to call officials from the Coconut Board of India to pay a visit to the area and identify potential spots,he said.
Coconut farming,if developed in this under-utilised area,can be an effective source of supply to all allied industries and this can help India move ahead of countries like Indonesia and Philippines in coconut farming, he added.