Machine-Assisted Coconut-tree Climbing Generated Steady Income

Published on: 26 Aug, 2013
Published under: Palakkad District News

26 August 2013
Palakkad

Keshavan returned to Pattambi two years ago after spending 17 years in the Gulf and soon realised that life wasn’t going to be a cakewalk. Keshavan underwent a week-long training in machine-assisted coconut-tree climbing under the ‘Friends of coconut trees’ scheme of the Coconut Development Board at the People’s Service Society in Dhoni.

“We have coconut trees in our farm but there are very few coconut pluckers. Even for our cooking we have to go without coconut though there are plenty of trees. This gave me the idea of learning coconut-tree climbing using machines.”

Lakshmi, whose husband is in the Gulf, says the training made her self-reliant. “Now I can pluck coconut from my garden. There is no strain,” she says.

The other youngsters in the training camp, Baiju of Nemmara and Sharafudeen of Nattukal, are traditional climbers. However, they welcome mechanisation, through which they earn more and climb up to 100 coconut trees daily as against the 60 manually. The risk is also less while using the machine.

The major problem faced by coconut farmers in Kerala is the acute shortage of tree climbers, who form a vital link in the production line, says master trainer P. Unnikrishnan. Consistent supply of raw nuts for the market and for the copra and oil processing sectors is crucial for the farmers to earn steady income, he says.

Source– http://www.thehindu.com

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