Erode: The Tamil Nadu Coconut Farmer’s Welfare Board planned to suggest to the state government include coconut oil in noon meal preparation as it was more `nutritious`, an official of the board on Saturday said.
If the government concedes the plea, annually 2,800 tonnes of coconut oil could be supplied to the noon meal centres catering to over 53 lakh children, board Chariman N S Rajkumar Mandradiar said at an interactive session with farmers here.
Similarly, 1.96 crore ration card holders could be given 100 gram coconut oil each every month, which would result in an offtake of 23,520 tonnes of the oil annually and help the coconut farmers get good price for their produce.
He said steps had been taken to sell coconut in regulated markets and other important places. As of date, 20 crore coconut trees were in Tamil Nadu, but the farmers were not getting reasonable price for the coconut.
Mandradiar said soon a medical symposium on coconut oil would be held in Chennai.
District Collector T. Soundiah, who inaugurated the interaction programme, wanted the farmers to grow as many coconut trees as possible and go for value added products to gain reasonable profit.
C Nallasamy of Toddy Movement appealed to the board to recommend to the Government to allow farmers to tap toddy from coconut and palm trees.