The cabinet on Wednesday hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for ‘milling copra’ by Rs 400 to Rs 5,950 per quintal for the 2016 season, from Rs 5,550 per quintal fixed last year.
The MSP for fair and average quality (FAQ) of ‘ball copra’ has been increased to Rs 6,240 per quintal for the 2016 season from Rs 5,830 per quintal in 2015, an official release on Wednesday said, after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs’ meeting.
The decision to hike MSP for copra was taken following recommendations by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), which fixed the MSP for at least 22 agricultural commodities while taking into account the cost of production, overall demand-supply, domestic and international prices, cost of conversion of copra into coconut oil, among others.
“The MSP of copra is expected to ensure appropriate minimum prices to the farmers and step up investment in coconut cultivation and thereby production and productivity in the country,” minister for power Piyush Goyal said.
However the hike in copra MSP has only notional value as the market price has been prevailing much above the MSP. When copra price fell below MSP, the agri-cooperative Nafed had procured the commodity from farmers back in 2013-14. Besides Nafed, the Centre has designated National Cooperative Consumer Federation of India as central nodal agencies to undertake price support operations in the coconut growing states.
According to Coconut Development Board estimates, India produced 21665 million nuts in 2013-14. Kerala would be contributing only 50% of the production.