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Lakshadweep coconut-based industry seeks geographical tag for enhanced market access

Lakshadweep coconut-based industry seeks geographical tag

Lakshadweep is the first union territory to be declared 100 per cent organic but the coconut-based industry demands a geographical tag for pure coconut oil and improved transportation facilities to deliver their produce to the mainland.

After Sikkim, Lakshadweep is the first Union Territory to become 100 per cent organic, as all farming is carried out without the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.

“Lakshadweep is surrounded by the sea. Transportation from the mainland is our main concern. We are not using chemical pesticides or fertilisers in our soil. By nature, we are getting the purest coconut,” Mohammed Altaf Hussain, owner of a coconut oil brand, told ANI.

He urged that the government should provide a geographical tag to Lakshadweep for organic coconut oil so that it will improve sales and provide global traction.

“If the government does wide publicity and gives a geographical tag, then many buyers will come here to purchase our product,” Hussain explained.

However, he did raise his concern that it is very unfortunate that Lakshadweep coconut farmers are not getting much benefit from that 100 per cent organic declaration.

Explaining the need for improved transportation, Hussain added, “Connectivity between the island and mainland is nothing but the sea route. We don’t have any cargo flights. We don’t have any train, bus or private transportation. We are 100 per cent dependent on government transportation facilities. our main concern is how we can reach our 100 percent organic product on the mainland.”

Ashraf Hussain, who is also associated with the coconut industry, echoed the same sentiment. One of the problems is also the nonrenewal of organic certificates, which makes it tough and transportation is the biggest issue for us as well, usually we have no space in the ship to send our produce and transportation costs are also very high.”

Lakshadweep goes for the Lok Sabha polls on April 19.