Mani urges special protection scheme for coconut farmers

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Kochi, Apr 2: Kerala Congress (M) leader K M Mani and MLA today urged the Centre and state governments to form a special protection scheme to insulate farmers from the drop in the price of coconut oil due to the decision to cut customs duty on crude and refined edible oil imports.

Speaking to reporters here today, Mr Mani said the Centre's decision to import crude edible oil at zero rate of customs duty and cut the duty on refined edible oil from 27.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent, would adversely affect the coconut farmers in the country.

''The Centre and the state governments, apart from forming a special protection scheme, should also prepare a package for coconut farmers, who would be affected by the reduction in the price of coconut oil'', he added.

On the arrival of the Central team to assess the agricultural damage due to summer rains in various districts of the state on April four, Mr Mani said the state government should prepare a comprehensive report on the damages to be presented for receving Central assistance.


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