Kalparasa’ a fresh, hygienic and unfermented energy drink from coconut inflorescence and its value added product ‘Coconut sugar’ has been launched at West Bengal on February 9, 2016 by Prof. Asit Kumar Chakraborty, Honorable Vice Chancellor, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, W.B. The program was jointly organized by ICAR-CPCRI, Kasaragod and BCKV, Kalyani in the Farm of Debabrata Ghosh, Balagarh, Hooghly, West Bengal, first time in the Eastern Region of India. As a chief guest he emphasized the relevance of ‘Kalparasa’ as a natural health drink as an alternative to aerated drinks. Because of its low glycemic index, both the sap and coconut sugar could be used in sweets and confectionaries and can be a neutraceutical product. He emphasized its potential in export. Earlier he launched the bottled kalparasa and coconut sugar and handed over one bottle of sugar to Mr. Felu Modak, the owner of a big house in the area of quality sweet production . He also released a bulletin on Kalparasa written in Bengal “PASCHIMBANGE NARKEL FUL ER MISTY ROS NEERA UTPADAN O MULLYO SANJOJON-EKTI BIKALPA ARTHO KORI DISHA” on the occasion..
Dr. P. Chowdappa, Director, CPCRI, Kasaragod enumerated the need for switching over to value addition in coconut and narrated the various value added products of coconut. He said that tapping kalparasa provides multiple advantages to the economy, environment, farmer and consumer. On the occasion he released a booklet on coconut intercropping’ “PASCHIMBANGE NARKEL ER SATHI FASAL HISABE GOLMORICH, KALA,BARSHAKALIN PIYAJ O GERBERA FUL ER CHASER SAMBHOBANA O BHABISWAT”. Dean, faculty of Horticulture also emphasized the new approach of Neera production and its tremendous potentiality under West Bengal condition before the gathering.
Mr. Ashim Kumar Maji, MLA, Balagarh in his speech appreciated the initiatives taken jointly by BCKV and CPCRI for the development of the coconut farmers of the state. He further informed the audience that he had an opportunity to offer Kalparsa to the Honorable Chief Minister of W.B. and she very much liked the taste and assured all Government help for tapping and marketing for the benefit of coconut farmers of WB. Director of Horticulture, Govt. of W.B. while appreciating the initiative assured that all the help will be extended to form producer societies and federations for the collection and marketing.
The whole process of tapping starting from selection of inflorescence, massaging, stroking, connection of adapter, connection of coco-sap chiller to the spadix was demonstrtated and the technical details of the quality, transportation under refrigeration and marketing prospects were explained by Dr. K.B.Hebbar, Head PB&PHT, CPCRI and Dr. Dipak Kumar Ghosh (Sr.), BCKV.
More than 300 participants from different districts of Hooghly, Burdwan, Nadia, 24P(S), Purba Medinipur, 24-P (N) and Jalpaiguri were participated in this programme. They were quite eager to know how quickly community cluster will be formed for training and tapping of palms in greater numbers and its marketing either as fresh sap or different value added products.
Dr. Dipak Kumar Ghosh (Sr.) and Prof. Apurba Bandopadhayay of Department of Spices and Plantation Crops, BCKV and Debabrata Ghosh , farmer arranged and cocordinated the programme in a nice way.