Kochi: ‘Neera’, the sweet sap of coconut palm, will once again adorn special kiosks, set up across the state for their sale as a delicious health drink, by Onam.
Months after their production came to a standstill with the Coconut producer Federations facing a financial crunch, the state government and the Coconut Development Board (CDB) is aiding coconut farmers with a revival package.
“The plan is to revive Neera production and sales by pooling existing resources together. The Coconut Producer Federations registered with the CDB will join hands to form a consortium which will roll out the health drink by Onam. The government and the CDB will provide all necessary assistance,” said Deepti Nair, Deputy Marketing Manager, CDB.
‘Neera’ will hit markets again in tetra pack covers under a common logo and will be available in six flavours. At a later stage, ‘Neera Honey’ and ‘Neera Sugar’ will also be introduced in the market.
According to sources, a meet was held last Friday at the state capital presid-ed over by agricultural minister V.S. Sunil Kumar and finance minister Dr Thomas Issac. The representatives of the federations were briefed about the revival package.
“The plan is to market ‘Neera’ as a complete health drink. The re-launch will happen in August. While the government will help with packaging and printing, the CDB will provide with the market support,” said Vinod Palakkal, CEO, Pal-akkad Coconut Producer Company Limited (PCPCL).
‘Neera’ was launched commercially in 2014 when upto 10, 000 litres of raw coconut neera was produced daily. The product was an instant hit with customers, thanks to its nutritive value, delicious taste and flavor. However, low-yield during Summers and the Nipah virus scare affected its sales from last year onwards.