The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research–National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST) organized Technical Seminar on “Sustainable Coconut Processing Strategies for the Global Market” at the CSIR-NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, on 12 September 2023 as part of the World Coconut Day celebration.
Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw, Executive Director, ICC, was invited as chief guest to deliver a special address at the Seminar. She mentioned that quality, sustainability, and competitiveness, are crucial for the coconut sector. She highlighted the versatile nature of coconuts, which find applications both as a biofuel and in culinary endeavors. She pointed out, "We have to leverage innovation to unlock the full market potential of coconuts."
Dr. C. Anandharamakrishnan, Director, CSIR-NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram, addressed the challenges of low coconut production as a result of global warming. The CSIR-NIIST focuses a high priority on promoting research, study, and knowledge of scientific cultivation and management of major crops.
The difficulties farmers encounter as a result of fluctuations in prices and a lack of a comprehensive processing strategy were underlined by Dr. B. Hanumanthe Gowda, Chief Coconut Development Officer, Coconut Development Board.
Mr. Paul Francis, Managing Director, KLF Nirmal in his address underline the issues faced by the industry in its initial establishment and some of them still continuing and needs the intervention of the government to address it.
In the seminar on "Sustainable Coconut Processing Strategies for Global Market," technical sessions and panel discussions on research and development interventions for the cultivation, crop management, and value addition of coconut were held in which different experts from the government, industry and farmers producer organizations actively participated.
The sessions' main objectives were to formulate strategies of cultivation, enhance post-harvest value addition, and provide a sustained globally market for coconuts and related products.
Following World Coconut Day on September 2, with the theme “ Sustaining Coconut Sector for the Present & Future Generation” was held to promote the importance of coconuts and their contributions to the economy, agriculture, and health, as well as to raise awareness of the many benefits of coconut cultivation and consumption. The event was organized in collaboration with the International Coconut Community (ICC) and Coconut Development Board (CDB).
The event was attended by officials from the International Coconut Community (ICC), corporate representatives, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), policy makers, representatives from the Central and State Governments agencies, agribusiness professionals, and research and academic experts.
The experts emphasized the urgent need for innovation and sustainability in the coconut industry, underlining the importance of a comprehensive strategy encompassing cultivation, scientific crop management, and value addition to tap into the vast national and global market for this versatile crop cultivated in various regions of the country.