LDF stages walkout from Kerala Assembly over coconut oil import

Thursday, Jul 23, 2015,22:34 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | CPI-M led LDF Opposition members today staged a walkout from the Kerala Assembly when their adjournment motion on the crisis faced by coconut farmers due to fall in price was disallowed.
Replying to the notice for the motion, Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan said the government had already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention and reconsider the decision to import 2,000 tonnes of coconut oil, which was said to be the reason for the fall in coconut prices.
However, he said price fall had not seriously affected the state coconut farmers, as the government was able to check the price fall to a great extent with its coconut procurement policy at a price of Rs 25 per kg. The government plans to make value added products with the coconut procured through Krishi Bhavan.
Coconut price that fluctuated for the last few years had now touched Rs 15 to Rs 17 per kg. But, with a view to the helping farmers, the government procured the nuts at Rs 25 per kg, he said. Moving the notice, K V Vijayadas (CPI-M) said recent fall in price of agriculture products including coconut and rubber was the adverse impact of the ASEAN agreement the country entered into during the previous Congress-led UPA government.
The BJP-led NDA government was also following the same economic policies that ensure the protection of corporates by harming farmers’ interest, he added. Before the walkout, CPI-M veteran and Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said LDF had warned then itself about the negative impact of the ASEAN agreement on domestic farmers.
The government was not interested to discuss an issue that affected about 30 lakh coconut farmers in the state, he said. After the reply of Minister Mohanan, Speaker N Sakthan disallowed leave for the motion promoting LDF members to stage the walkout.