Support price for copra retained at current levels

The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) has approved a proposal to retain the minimum support prices (MSP) for fair average quality (FAQ) of `milling copra' and `ball copra' for 2014 season at the existing levels of Rs5,250 per quintal and Rs5,500 per quintal, respectively.

The MSP, which ensures a minimum price for copra is intended to encourage farmers to step up investment in coconut cultivation and thereby production and productivity. The decision has been based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).

The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) would continue to act as the nodal agency to undertake price support operations at the MSP in coconut growing states, an official release said.

In addition to the NAFED, the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), the National Cooperative Consumer Federation of India Limited (NCCF) and the Small Farmer's Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) are also allowed to participate in procurement operations, the release said.

THE CCEA also approved the implementation of the central sector integrated scheme on agricultural cooperation with an outlay of Rs920.09 crore during the 12th Plan.

This scheme is a result of the merger of two erstwhile schemes of the 11th Plan namely, the restructured central sector scheme for assistance to National Cooperation Development Corporation (NCDC) – Programmes for Development of Cooperatives and the central sector scheme for cooperative education and training. The financial assistance to the two components are Rs802 crore and Rs118.088 crore respectively.

The implementation of the scheme would yield following benefits:

  • Streamlining the cooperative marketing structure;
  • Diversifying activities;
  • Capacity building of cooperatives to undertake value addition;
  • Enabling cooperatives to have storage/cold storage facilities;
  • Undertake business operations;
  • Improving activities in allied areas such as dairy, poultry, fishery, coir, handloom and sericulture;
  • Involving grass-root level cooperatives in integrated area development;
  • Helping cooperatives in the least/under developed states and those of weaker sections through special programmes and schemes; and
  • Providing appropriate managerial and technical inputs besides manpower development and training etc.