Income and Employment Generation through value addition of coconut: Sri.Rajan

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Rajan

Perumbalam is an Island Panchayath of Alappuzha, lying very near to Ernakulam District, where coconut is the main crop. The job opportunities for the households of the Panchayath are minimum hence the people are compelled to go to nearby cities for better income generating activities. Even though coconut is one of the main crop of the Panchayath, income from this crop was not dependable due to fluctuating price and limitations in the transportation facilities. At this juncture Sri.Rajan who actually hails from Arookutty, the nearby Panchayath started a coconut products unit at Perumbalam. He was a member of the Arookutty farmers club and attended a training programme at KVK-Alappuzha in 2011. After the training, the members of the farmers club started the production of coconut products, but collection of nuts was the problem, hence Sri.Rajan decided to shift his unit to Perumbalam where his daughter settled after marriage. So he initiated the unit with the support of his daughter meanwhile she also participated the same training at KVK Alappuzha. Except coconut, he is purchasing everything from mainland and marketing the products at nearby cities.

Including Virgin coconut oil from coconut milk, he is producing more than a dozen of coconut products like coconut milk chocolate, laddu, Instant kuruma mix, curry mixes, Ginger mix, four types of chutney powders, special laddu, and coconut water vinegar and the products are labelled under the brand name Thriveni. Now he is adopting direct marketing method and selling products in the offices and schools where high demand is getting to his products. Through direct marketing he could realize more income. He is regularly participating in exhibitions and Melas organized by various departments of the district and private institutions. By processing a batch of 100 nuts daily, he could make a net profit of Rs.1200-1500/-

In order to reduce the drudgery involved in these activities, now he has procured a motorized scraper for grating the coconut kernel and a screw press for extracting milk from it. Besides these machineries, he purchased big vessels of bronze and steel for the preparation and storage of the products by his own investment. For doing the other works than coconut scrapping and milk extraction five ladies living nearby are engaged thus providing them job and income. More than 15 families who cannot go to mainland for earning livelihood are directly or indirectly benefitted through his enterprise.

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