Current AffairsGoa

Coconut on wheels: Initiative by GSHC in association with Directorate of Agriculture

Panjim: Coconut is a major food ingredient in the Goan cuisine. No food is complete without Coconut. There is about 2500 ha area under coconut in Goa and the coconuts are harvested at regular interval and sold in the market.

Recently during covid-19 outbreak the supply chain of this commodity was affected. Firstly, the coconut orchard owners residing in places, then the Padeli or harvesters, the workforce engaged in the collection, sorting, storage and transportation, traders and finally the consumers were affected during the lockdown to prevent spread of covid-19. To overcome the shortage of coconut and to maintain supply chain management, initiative was taken by Goa state Horticulture Corporation in association of Directorate of Agriculture.

In this case, Pandhari PrabhuDessai, a farmer from Canacona and residing in Margao, was issued travel permit by the Director of Agriculture to go to his farm in Canacona. The farmer could not harvest his coconut plantation due to unavailability of harvesters or Padeli. Zonal Agricultural officer, Canacona, Shivram Gaonkar intervened after listening to the difficulty of the farmer and the travel permit for the harvesters were issued. The problem still persisted as most of the traders were reluctant to do purchases and market due to lockdown. He then contacted GSHCL for marketing of their produce.

GSHCL is already in business of trading of coconut and supplying to the consumers at affordable rates along with vegetables, fruits and grocery items. In this instance also GSHCL collected the farmers produce from his farm gate in Canacona and were supplied to the consumers from Pali, Cotombi, Kudne areas where there is scarcity of coconut. These area do not have large coconut plantations and were dependent for supply from outside. The prices in these areas were skyrocketing up to Rs 40 per piece.

The coconuts were sold in retail basis with maximum rate of Rs 22 per piece. About 10000 coconut procured from Canacona were supplied in these areas. In cotombi area, Chief Minister visited the mobile coconut on wheels and appreciated the efforts taken up by GSHCL in helping the consumers and Goan people in controlling the prices of essential commodities like vegetables, fruits and now coconut. He also appreciated the door to door delivery of coconuts during this difficult time of lockdown.

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