Got an opportunity to have a courtesy meeting with Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture, Government of Kerala, India Mr. P. Prasad on 3rd March in his office at Assembly Building of Government of Kerala. The meeting was also attended by Dr. B. Ashok, IAS Principal Secretary & Agriculture Production Commissioner, Agriculture Department, Kerala and Dr. P. Rajashekaran, Chairman, State Agricultural Prices Board, Kerala.
There were in detail discussion on different aspects related to promotion of coconut and its value-added products in the state of Kerala. Hon’ble Minister informed about the “Kera Gramam” project of Government of Kerala implemented by the department of agriculture for the coconut development in the state and suggested to develop collaborative programs with ICC mainly on capacity building and exposure visit of the industry stakeholders and coconut entrepreneurs to major ICC coconut growing countries. He requested to Executive Director in exchanging global technology on processing of coconut milk and cream from the ICC member countries like Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. He also expressed his willingness to attend the next International COCOTECH Conference of ICC in 2024.
Dr. B. Ashok, IAS. Principal Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner suggested that ICC can be part of the future VAIGA program of department of agriculture, State of Kerala and in that way more international organizations and speakers can be invited to the program.
Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw , Executive Director, ICC expressed her gratefulness to Hon’ble Minister for inviting ICC to be part of the VAGIA program and also for the opportunity to have a courtesy meeting with him. She assured the full support of ICC for the sustainable development of the coconut sector in the state. She suggested if state of Kerala can adopt the one district one product program of government to promote the value-added products of coconut. She further added that ICC has provided the capacity building webinar series for the Caribbean countries in association with International Trade Centre (ITC) and similarly can plan for the coconut stakeholders of Kerala. Dr. Alouw invited Hon’ble Minister to attend the World Coconut Day celebration 2023 at Gorontalo regency of Indonesia in September. Ms. Mridula Kottekate, Assistant Director, ICC also accompanied the Executive Director.
The meeting concluded with exchange of mementos.