December 6, 2017
Image credit : Illustrative Image
Farmers of Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam expressed their gratitude to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami for granting permission to produce neera from coconut palms.
Sangham State president NA Ponnuswami told The Covai Post neera is a sweet drink tapped from the inflorescence of coconut.
Neera is prepared before sunrise and consumed before noon. Kept for a long time, it ferments to become toddy. Neighbouring Kerala and Karnataka are promoting neera as a health drink.
It was not an alcoholic drink and no research had proved it to be an intoxicant and unfit for human consumption.
“Over 300 farmers in the district are producing neera and making a good earning. A litre of neera is sold at Rs 60 and farmers earn a profit of Rs 20,” he added.
The government should subsidise neera production and help farmers get equipment for its preservation. This should also help in having markets outside, Ponnuswami said. Loans should also be provided to farmers.
Since the district has several coconut farms, the government should establish a branch of the Central Coconut Research Centre in the district, he added.
Ponnuswami also said a meeting held in the City demanded that June 5 be declared as Farmer’s Day and farmers should be assured of a proper remuneration for their produce.