A fifteen-day training on coconut handicrafts concluded on Wednesday with parliamentary secretary for Horticulture R Khing as chief guest.
The training was sponsored by the Coconut development board and state horticulture department.
Addressing the trainees at the concluding programme, the chief guest in his speech called upon the trainees to utilize the skills imparted during the training and become prospective farmers.
Stressing on the need for multiple farming, the parliamentary secretary asserted that with changing times, a farmer cannot depend on food crops alone for sustaining their livelihood. The parliamentary secretary also further assured to introduce policies for assisting the coconut farmers.
While elucidating on the economic viability of coconuts, Khing pointed out that the value addition of coconuts was diverse.
He also averred that coconuts are usually disposed off after consumption due to lack of knowledge on utilizing the value added products which can be produced from the coconut fiber and shells.
The chief guest also lauded the efforts of coconut board for increasing the coconut plantations across the state.
He later awarded certificates to all the trainees for successfully completing the training.
Maintaining that plantation of coconut was favorable for districts bordering Assam, Regional Director of Coconut Development Board Sugata Ghosh pointed out that the favorable climate and tropical rainfall has made the state more conducive for plantation of coconut. He also pointed that market rates for coconuts were very favorable for the farmers.
Informing about the activities of the Coconut Development Board (CDB), Ghosh said the board has been trying to expand the plantation of coconut ever since the area expansion scheme was introduced in the state way back in 1992-93.
He also informed that though the official figure on the area of plantation stood at 900 Ha in 2007-08, the actual area covered might be around 1350 Ha.
On the release of funds and subsidies, Gosh disclosed that a total sum of Rs.115 lakhs has been released by the board till date as subsidies to all the beneficiaries under four schemes and Rs.24.12 lakhs for laying out of demonstration plot.
Other speakers who spoke at the programme included trainer for the coconut sculpture art Chinmoy Kar and K Dominic Angami on behalf of trainees.