how to pluck coconuts, go to Trinidad and Tobago
Our Tpuram Correspondent
Coconut Growers Society, based in Trinidad and Tobago has
signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Coconut
Development Board for technical collaboration with the Coconut
At present, Trinidad and Tobago has a labour exchange programme
with Canada for apple picking and is envisaging similar
programmes with India to attract Keralas coconut palm
workers to the country on a six-month contract to work in
its coconut palm groves and allied industry.
According to Pranesh Maharaj, Chairman, St Patrick Coconut
Growers Society, the government is keen on diversification
of the economy and with the current policy of expansion
of agriculture sector, there will be increased focus on
coconut farming. Trinidad and Tobago face severe labour
shortage and the government is trying to attract workers
from energy sector to farming.
The current pay for six hours of work of a day is Trinidad
and Tobago Dollar (TTD) 150 (` 1,200). Workers from Kerala
might be able to earn TTD 2,000-3,000 (` 16,000-` 24,000)
a month by working there, said Mr Maharaj.
Opportunities are opening up in Trinidad and Tobago for
good pollinators and mechanised coconut climbers from Kerala.
Trinidad and Tobago at present produces 48-60 million nuts
a year and St Patrick Coconut Growers Society has 150 farmers,
who own between 5 acres and 2,000 acres, said T K Jose,
Chairman of Coconut Development Board.
Our trees are aged often over 80 years and
suffer from diseases. We have only limited variety of trees
and they currently satisfy only the demand for tender coconut
water. We need to tap resources which we dont have
in our country and have looked at the Philippines and Indonesia,
besides India, but Coconut Development Board offered us
exhaustive information which was well presented and had
a clear message, said Mr Maharaj.
He hopes that the MoU with Coconut Development Board will
result in more meaningful tie-ups between India and the
Caribbean in coconut farming and allied business.