Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

Sharad Pawar Directs NAFED For Round The Year Copra Procurement Under MSP

Bishnu Expresses Gratitude to Hon’ble Minister and Lt. Governor

Port Blair, Aug. 20: Subsequent to the meeting with Lt Gen (Retd) AK Singh, Hon’ble Lt Governor, A&N Islands on 19th Aug. 2013 on copra procurement issue, the Member of Parliament, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray today met the Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture, Shri Sharad Pawar at 12:40 pm at room no. 42 of the Parliament of India, New Delhi to follow up the letter sent by LG’s Secretariat in July 2013, urging for round the year copra procurement scheme for the benefit of copra producers of the Islands.

The Minister acknowledged the receipt of the said letter on the subject and accepted the genuine viewpoints mentioned in it. Supporting the LG’s viewpoint the MP too demanded that considering the geographical and market availability difficulties, the copra growers of the islands including the tribal people who solely depend on the income from copra for their livelihood, should be given special moratorium and the procurement of copra under Minimum Support Price scheme through NAFED round the year.

The Minister of Agriculture accepting the viewpoints and considering the plight of the Copra producers in the Islands as mentioned in LG’s letter, called the Managing Director of NAFED in the presence of MP and directed him to resume procurement of copra from A&N Islands and Lakshadweep immediately.

On the directions of the Hon’ble Minister, the Managing Director of NAFED agreed in principle to resume the procurement of copra in the Islands within a week. This is good news for all the Islanders including the Nicobarese tribal members who are badly in need of money to sustain their livelihood.

The MP has thanked the Minister of Agriculture for his sensitive approach in directing the NAFED for implementation of uninterrupted copra procurement MSP scheme for the Islands.

The MP has also expressed his gratitude to the Lt Governor for taking up the Copra issue before the Minister of Agriculture and urging for continuation of the MSP scheme for Copra round the year instead of the current arrangement of 90 days scheme for Copra procurement.