CFTRI develops technology on shelfing Neera: Official

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Bangalore, Mar 19 (UNI) The State Excise policy had come in the way of commercial exploitation of Neera, a by-product of the coconut palm, for which the Mysore based Central Food technology Research of India (CFTRI) has developed technology.

According to Deputy Director Coconut Development Board (CDB) Vijay Kumar Hallikeri CFTRI had developed a mechanism to prevent fermentation, increase the shelf life and preserve the natural nutrient of neera, which is collected over night from the coconut palm. Once the day breaks it becomes toddy, he said.

Speaking to newsmen on the sidelines of a function here today he said neera said CFTRI had successfully developed a technology which helps to prevent fomentation and retention the original quality of neera.

He said some industrial houses had evinced interest for commercial exploitation of neera based on CFTRI technology. There had been talks of signing a tripartite agreement between industries, CFTRI and the State Government some time ago, but no progress had been made so far. This was due to the stiff clauses in the Excise policy that was proving as a road block.

Replying to questions Mr Hallikeri said that there was a perception among the coconut farmers that by tapping neera the disease caused by mites, which had devastated coconut palms across the state during the last few years, could be effectively prevented.

"However this perception was yet to be scientifically proved," he added.

He also said that due to the mite disease as much as 25 per cent coconut grown area had been destroyed during the last decade.

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