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A Strategic Development Agenda For Enhancing Income From Coconut - Indian Experience

Coconut is n small holder's crop in India. The average size of a holding in Kerala, the major coconut growing State in India, is only 0.25 ha. Although intercropping is common, it is not practised systematically and crop combinations of economic value are also absent from most of the holdings Varietal diversity is narrow with the local lall varietv palms forming over 85% with hybrids accounting for only 5-6%, Copra production and coir making are the major processing activities. Processing of coconut into non-traditional products is yet to be developed on a commercial scale The average female labour participation in farm activities in Kerala is around 16%. Their participation is to the extent of 60% in coir fibre production and coir spinning. The primary objective of coconut development in India is lo enhance the profitability of coconut farming from small operational holdings by adopting farm-households as the target group The development strategy encompasses intensive integrated farming under coconut for multiple benefits, sustainable management of coconut holdings for strengthening the natural resource base and supporting optimum  levels of crop production which are profitable and enduring over time, efficient product utilization at the farm-household and community levels, varietal improvement for multiple uses and technology development . A multifaceted development agenda has been formulated by the Coconut Development Board and put into effect in Kerala State as a model. The agenda comprises practical steps lo enhance the farm-household income in the project sites, lo facilitate income generation for women through efficient  product utilization, to provide training and marketing support to village artisans engaged in coconut based handicrafts, lo promote primary processing under the aegis of farmer's cooperatives and to identify and multiply coconut varieties suitable for multiple uses.

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