Goa

Coconut plucking gets a new lease of life in Goa

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Goa State Horticulture Corporation has begun training youths in the art of coconut plucking which can earn them a good monthly salary.

The Goa Government has decided to tide over the scarcity of coconut pluckers in the State through an innovative step — by providing training and assured employment to the youths opting for this vocation.

Goa State Horticulture Corporation Ltd (GSHCL) has begun training around 15 youths in the art of coconut plucking which can earn them a good monthly salary. The trained pluckers would be in service from March 15 onwards.

The Government took the initiative looking at a larger picture of decrease in coconut cultivation due to scarcity of coconut pluckers, GSHCL Managing Director Orlando Rodrigues told PTI. The corporation will provide climbing gadgets to the trained youths, who would be hired by the farmers to pluck coconuts on a daily basis, he said.

Expanding the scope of training, they have also mastered the skill of plucking mangoes, which is a seasonal crop found in entire Konkan region. “In Goa, there is some sort of feeling that the vocation of plucking coconuts is a minimal one and there is no attraction towards it, hence the number of pluckers has dwindled,” Rodrigues said, adding that this snowballed into another effect — farmers refusing to plant any more coconut trees. Therefore, the corporation has decided to give them an assured income and incentives, he said.

The coconut pluckers would also be trained to treat the trees with pesticides and sprays. The farmers will have to approach the corporation’s office with a request for a plucker, who will travel with him to the farm, he said. The corporation has decided to keep the hiring rates on a par with that charged by traditional coconut pluckers in the villages to avoid disturbance to the existing conventional set up.

Courtesy: BL