The greatest accolades and awards pale in front of the recognition received in your own home. This was the case when the Coconut Development Board, Cochin, turned to SCMS-Cochin to provide management training to coconut producers. SCMS-Cochin used the collective wisdom of its world-class faculty to churn out a local solution. The leadership-training programme, held from September 18th to 20th 2012, was specifically designed to benefit the participants, who were members of the Coconut Producers Societies from Alappuzha district.
“By associating with SCMS, the primary sector would benefit from the management expertise it possesses,” observed Mr. T.K. Jose, IAS, Chairman, Coconut Development Board, in an interview to Times of India published on the 22nd of September. “We have already formed 1,600 CPSs in Kerala. In order to take them to higher levels of functioning and to help them to develop their own way forward, we are giving them management training. These societies need to develop a vision for their growth for the next 10 to 15 years. They also need to accomplish their missions and utilise the opportunities available to them. CPSs will also be trained on how to increase productivity. They will learn how to add value and market their products, including in foreign countries.”
In the long-term, these Coconut Producers’ Societies – which are relatively smaller groups – will be motivated to come together in federations of 15 to 25 CPSs. The Coconut Development Board, Cochin, that sponsored this programme in SCMS-Cochin, aims to form 10 such federations in the state. Once this is achieved, these federations will be organised to form a producing company, for which they will be mentored and facilitated for the next five years.
On its part, the management of SCMS-Cochin has decided to leave no stone unturned for the revival of coconut cultivation. The Board has entrusted SCMS Biotech Research Institute with a project to develop a low-fat cream from tender coconut.
“I’m confident that the product will be a boon to coconut growers,” assured Mr. T.K. Jose, Chairman, CDB, during his interview to ToI’s Cochin edition. “It is our dream to revive coconut cultivation production through a variety of value-added new products with great demand in the international market, and to export them under the auspices of the Federation of Coconut Producers Societies.”
For quite some time now, the north Indian lobby has been controlling coconut prices. The CDB is planning to model the Kerala Coconut industry on the lines of Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Philippines, where growers depend more on value-added products. Clearly, SCMS-Cochin is viewed as a natural, long-term strategic partner in building management capabilities in the coconut producers.