India: Coconut production failing in Goa

The lack of manpower to pick the fruit and a general disinterest among farmers towards this crop, are among several factors responsible for coconuts slowly getting out of reach for the common man in the coastal state of Goa.

The tiny state still has 25,700 hectares of its area covered with coconut groves, but the rising prices are making the nut unaffordable for the common people. A coconut is sold at a price of 40-50 rupees (0.51-0.63 euros) in the local markets, forcing the state government to announce a scheme to subsidise it.

Multiple factors have contributed to the price rise, including attacks by pests like the Eriophyid mites. Mite attacks have been affecting the crops for the last 10-12 years. Then, farmers have been facing shortages of pickers, and have to approach traders to take away their tender coconuts.

The burgeoning tourism industry has increased the demand of tender coconuts in the markets, especially in the coastal belt. A local told ptinews that if farmers don't sell the tender coconuts to traders they usually get a raw deal for their product.

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