There is lot of potential for coconut cultivation in Thane district and the farmers here should make the most use of the opportunities being given by the the Coconut Development Board (CDB) under the Ministry of Agriculture, said Rajeev Bushan Prasad, CDB's Deputy Director for Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Farmers from Thane district and surrounding areas will henceforth get coconut seeds and plants from the nursery of the CDB at Palghar here, a senior official said today.
The Board mainly undertakes projects under area expansion programme and laying out of demonstration plots in the region, he said.
The CDB also stresses on the flagship programme in which educated unemployed people are trained in various facets of coconut and its care. These people, known as "Coconut Mitra", take care of the plantations from cultivation to harvesting, he said.
As of now, farmers are required to procure the coconut seeds from various other sources, including agricultural universities and nurseries. The CDB has developed a nursery in Palghar where the seeds were being treated and will be given to the farmers from June 1, Prasad said, adding that this will solve problems of farmers related to procurement.
Last year, as against the 75 hectares target for Maharashtra, only 40 hectares could be brought under coconut cultivation and in Gujarat, as against 50 hectares, 93 hectares were brought under cultivation, he said.