"However, Left opposition legislator K. Dasan, through a calling attention motion in the assembly, pointed out that things were pretty bad and said the total employment in the industry has fallen from one lakh to a little over 20,000."
Thiruvananthapuram, June 16 - Kerala toddy, popular among locals and tourists, will get a boost with the state government planning to set up a board to oversee the functioning of the traditional industry, a minister said Monday.

Kerala Excise Minister K. Babu said: We have decided to set up a new Neera-Toddy Board that will look after the interests of the toddy industry. We will give preference to those toddy tappers, who are not having a job.

Toddy is tapped from the coconut bunches and collected in a mud pot. Due to the sediments in the pot, juice collected in four hours time gets fermented and turns into toddy, which has an alcohol content of 5 to 8 per cent.

While Neera, a coconut water-based soft drink, is a non-alcoholic, mineral rich and nutritious health drink. In the past, this was one of the most popular traditional industry in the state, with an employment of more than a lakh.

Babu told the state assembly that the government has done its best for the industry. We have given them lot of exemption with regards to the security deposit..., said Babu.

However, Left opposition legislator K. Dasan, through a calling attention motion in the assembly, pointed out that things were pretty bad and said the total employment in the industry has fallen from one lakh to a little over 20,000.

Dasan said the state government should ask the Kerala Agriculture University to see if it can develop new varieties of coconut trees those are not tall. Also there should be efforts made to promote the drink among tourists and it should be done by putting up good and clean toddy shops, he said.


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