Coconut board takes steps to nip adulteration

Kochi, Nov 14 | Updated: Nov 15 2005, 06:27am hrs
Price manipulation coupled with rampant adulteration in the copra and coconut oil market has forced intervention by the Coconut Development Board (CDB) which is considering introduction of online copra trading for farmers at different collection centres.

The Union agriculture ministry had recently sought details in the wake of charges that there was widespread manipulation of prices. Presently, copra is selling around Rs 3,200 a quintal, much below the MSP of Rs 3,570.

However, at the Kochi market it was quoted around Rs 200 higher than in Kozhikode and Thrissur. In the case of coconut oil this was the practice with Kochi rates given around Rs 300-350 higher than in other markets where it was presently sold at Rs 4,800 per quintal. This was because retail prices were still based on the Kochi prices.

Earlier, Kochi was the market the country followed. But manipulations and adulteration had slowly made upcountry buyers keep off from Kochi, trade sources said. They added that if the Kochi rates were genuine traders would naturally have preferred trading here and getting better margins.