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Coconut trees no longer considered trees in India

Staff writer ▼ | February 2, 2016
Coconut trees are no longer considered trees in the Indian state Goa, where authorities have reclassified them as palms to allow farmers to cut them down more easily.
Goa coconut
Farming in Asia   To help coconut farmers cull old or ailing trees
Officials said they dropped the cocus nucifer from Goa's official list of trees in order to help coconut farmers cull old or ailing stands without having to deal with red tape. But environmentalists and the state's opposition lawmakers are incensed, and accuse the state of catering to industry and developers.

"The move will not benefit farmers as much as it will help real estate and corporate interests chop coconut groves for development of plots and setting up industrial units," opposition legislator Vijai Sardesai said.

The state's forest minister, Rajendra Arlekar, defended the decision to amend a 1984 law forbidding the felling of certain trees without permission, saying coconut trees shouldn't have been listed at all.

"We have only corrected the anomaly in the act," Arkelar told state assembly members last week.

Goa produced more than 1 million coconuts in 2013 from groves sprawling over 25,000 hectares in the western resort state, a holiday hotspot known for its sandy beaches lined with the iconic, swaying palms.


 

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