CDB chairman T K Jose speaking at a symposium on neera production in Kochi on Saturday | Express Photo
Neera is basically a natural non-alcoholic product and awareness should be given to coconut farmers on the differences between neera and toddy, Kerala Coconut Development Board Chairman T K Jose said here on Saturday.
He was briefing media on the sidelines of a symposium on possibilities of neera held here.
“There is an argument that toddy and neera are the same. But this argument is baseless as there is clear distinction between the two. Neera production is banned only in India, while rest of the countries like Brazil, Trinidad and Tobacco, Thailand and Sri Lanka are producing large quantities of neera and are exporting it to other countries including India,” Jose added.
He said that symposiums and seminars will help in creating awareness among farmers to know more about neera, thereby attracting them towards the possibilities of looking into neera production.
Explaining the production techniques used for neera, agriculture expert V K Rajan said that neera is basically a natural non-alcoholic product. “Other neera products such as palm jaggery and palm sugar are mainly prescribed by ayurveda doctors and they are giving a positive feedback towards these products,” he said.
The production of neera and related products will help in creating more job opportunities in the sector, Rajan added. In Kerala four per cent of the total coconut produced is consumed as tender coconut.
In Tamil Nadu it is 17 per cent. “Neera production will make a positive impact in the gross domestic product (GDP). We will get at least one litre of neera by tapping one coconut tree. The price of one litre of neera in the market is `100. As per the available statistics, there are around 18 crores of coconut palms in Kerala. If all the coconut trees are tapped, we will be able to add `18 crore to the GDP annually,” the chairman said.