A group of traditional neera tappers from Udumalpet area have established market linkage with a Kochi-based firm to export value-added jaggery produced from neera.

The tie-up was made possible through an initiative taken by Udumalpet Coconut Producers Company, a consortium floated by around 1,000 coconut farmers from Udumalpet and Madathukulam blocks, with the support of Coconut Development Board.

“We have now grouped together 10 traditional tappers of neera, who have the licence to tap neera, for the purpose of producing jaggery from it. We plan to add 15 more traditional tappers into the fold,” S. Selvaraj, a farmer and chairman of Udumalpet Coconut Farmers Producers Company, told The Hindu .

The company has started dispatching the jaggery produced by the traditional neera tappers to the Kochi-based firm in batches to be exported to west Asian countries.

Presently handling orders to the tune of three tonnes a month, the volume was expected to go up when the demand picks up, said the farmers who were part of the initiative.

As part of diversification plans, the Coconut Producers’ Company plans to find export avenues to market organic coconut oil extracted from ‘organic copra’ using traditional methods.

Organic

“We have not added any chemicals or sulphur in the production process. The company has brought out the organic coconut on a pilot basis for domestic market in 250 ml, 500 ml and 1 litre bottles and given the common brand name of ‘snehalaya’, which is the name given for the range of agri products to be marketed by the member farmers,” said Mr. Selvaraj.

10 traditional tappers, who have the licence to tap neera, have been grouped together to produce jaggery from it

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> National> Tamil Nadu / by Staff Reporter / Tirupur – May 30th, 2016