NEW DELHI: The Kerala state government has invoked a one-year ban on palm oil imports, primarily from Malaysia and Indonesia, via Cochin Port to protect coconut farmers’ interests in the southern state.
Cochin Port Trust chairman N. Ra-machandran said the ban had impacted cargo throughput at the sta-te’s premier port and port revenue.
“The state government slammed the ban as palm oil usage has led to lesser consumption of coconut oil, thus adversely affecting coconut peasants in the state,” he said in a telephone interview yesterday.
Pior to the ban, Ramachandran said some 100,000 to 200,000 tonnes of palm oil were brought in through Kochi Port.
Following the ban, the state government, controlled by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), was losing tax revenue.
“Our board members will be meeting senior state government officials soon to discuss the ban. We’re quite optimistic we can resolve this ban, but I’m not in a position to give a timeline now,” he added.
It is believed that coconut industry lobbyists had pressured the state go-vernment to impose the ban to protect some two million coconut farmers in Kerala, one of the largest coco-nut producers in India. – Bernama Source: Business Times]]>