Central Government is committed to promote the coconut cultivation and related activities in Bihar and since 2014 a total amount of Rs 409.06 lakhs has been sanctioned for implementing the schemes on Coconut cultivation in Bihar, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said while laying the Foundation Stone for Farmers Training Centre and Regional Office building at Patna on the 37th Foundation day of Coconut Development Board (CDB).
The Minister told that Regional Office of the Coconut Development Board was shifted to Guwahati, Assam from Patna, Bihar on the basis of recommendations of a committee constituted under the chairmanship of ICAR in 2009. The Coconut Development Board was established on 12 January 1981. A central team was constituted by the Central Government focussing on the productivity of coconut in Bihar. The has recommended to open a new and fourth Regional Office of the Board at Patna in place of State Centre. The proposal for Patna office was approved by the Coconut Development Board in its 119th Board meeting.
Singh also said that India is the global leader in production and productivity of coconut. Coconut is cultivated in 16 states and three union territories in an extent of 2.14 million ha. The crop sustains more than one crore farmer families of the country through cultivation, processing, marketing and trade related activities. In Bihar, Coconut is grown in 14,900 hectares producing 141.38 million nuts.
He said that Kosi region in North Bihar which comprises places on either sides of the Kosi river is suitable for coconut cultivation. It is estimated that nearly 50,000 hectares of potential area in Bihar is available for coconut cultivation, mainly in North Bihar under irrigated condition. The Minister said that CDB aims to equip the coconut farmers in production, processing, marketing and export of coconut and its value added products thus making India the world leader in production, productivity, processing for value addition and export of coconut. Bihar belongs to nontraditional coconut cultivated area and special focus is being given for development of coconut sector in the state.
Singh further said that Establishment of a Farmers Training Centre, attached to the Regional Office, Patna has also been initiated. The Farmers Training Centre is expected to impart skills to farmers. The centre will strengthen coconut cultivation and industry in the state.