‘Goa needs no fruitless row, but fruitful Coconut Protection Act’

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 09 January 2016 14:53 IST

Instead of debating a non-issue whether coconut is tree or grass, there is a demand to have a special legislation to protect coconuts in Goa, on the lines of Philippines.

A demand in this regard is made by Uday Mhambro, a coconut trader from Savoi-Verem, while welcoming Goa government’s decision to exclude coconut from the Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act 1984.

Diverting the attention from what he calls a ‘political controversy’, Mhambro says Goans need to pay attention on how Coconut would be preserved in Goa by formulating a Coconut Protection Act.

“I don’t know whether coconut is a tree or grass, but I know coconut is my life”, says Mhambro, who is also a sensitive poet right from his student days.

According to him, coconut is dear to every Goan – a farmer, plucker, trader and those who cannot think of a curry (kaddi) without coconut juice. It’s also a must in religious rituals, he observes.

While life of each and every Goan surrounds around coconut, he feels no legal provision is made to protect this necessity of Goa and a Goan.

In Philippines, which is world’s largest coconut growing country, has made a special Coconut Protection Act in 1995, incorporated under Republican Act 8084, points out Mhambro.

This act prohibits cutting of a coconut plant below the age of 60 years while special government machinery is made available to cut coconut plants which endanger human life or when its production capacity reduces etc.

Instead of raking up controversy over deleting coconut from the Trees Act, Mhambro feels the legislators of Goa Assembly should concentrate on how to protect coconut plants in Goa.


Representing Goa’s coconut grower as well as a trader, Mhambro welcomes the step of deleting coconut from the Trees Act of Goa, which was included hardly five years ago.

“Till 2008, coconut was not part of this Act and it did not affect the identity of Goa. On the contrary, we faced lots of problems with its inclusion in the Trees Act”, he says.

While Goa’s Preservation of Trees Act mainly deals with forest trees managed by the Forest Department, he says inclusion of coconut in this act brought an obstacle in replacing unproductive coconut plants, the practice normally followed by every farmer.

Perhaps this is the reason, a survey report of Ministry of Environment and Forest in 2012 has categorically recommended excluding vegetation plants like coconut, cashew, mango, guava etc from the Trees Act.

However, Mhambro also points out that exempting coconut from the norms laid down to cut trees have been misused by builders and industries to cut hundreds of coconut plants at the cost of Goa’s ecological balance and destroying Goa’s necessity plant.

“Thus we need a special legislation only for coconut that would encourage coconut growers while prohibiting the vested interests from destroying it”, suggest Mhambro. 

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Lot of merits in arguing for trees. But Goans today import most of the eatables n other durables. We only know to accuse our rulers. We have woken up very late. This does not mean we will not repeat past mistakes in future.

- Madhav Bastodker, Ponda | 09 th January 2016 21:23


Good idea, but by the time our legislators demand and the Cabinet gets a Coconut Palms Protection Act in place, Tiracol coconut trees will be chopped or bulldozed down. Whatever coconut groves lands have been sold will be quickly shaved off all coconut trees.

- Bevinda Collaco, Panjim | 09 th January 2016 21:00


Thank you very much Sandeshbab,

for publishing my sincere views.

- Uday Mhambro, Savoi Verem Volvoi | 09 th January 2016 20:42


Who make legislation, rules acts politicians who r elected by money therefore they can say coconut may be tree grass or bird u do whatever u like who care

- vicentin Rebello, uk | 09 th January 2016 20:02


ही म्हत्वाची बातमी.संदॆश, हाका म्हणटा पत्रकारीता.म्हांबरॊ नाल्ला्चॊ व्यापारी ताका फायदॊ बी जायत हाचॊ तुवॆ् विचार करुना.कांय पत्रॆकार तसॊ विचार करता आनी बातमी कडॆक काडटा.हॆ बातनॆन खूब लॊकांचॊ गॊंदळ पयस जातलॊ.माडाचॆ बाबतित

- sanjiv verenkar, mangrshi | 09 th January 2016 18:39


I do not understand Goan people's fetish with povertarian economics. Goa is blessed with liberal society. We should be focusing more on building resorts, casinos, holiday homes, luxury homes etc. so every poor Goan farmer could earn millions.

I congratulate CM Parsekar for helping Goans escape the evil inspector raj when ti comes to coconut tree cutting. Are we supposed to get permission from some half assed babu to cut our own coconut tree ? Why ?

I would have prefered that government gets out of this tree control altogether besides getting rid of the zoning laws. Let poor Goans make millions.

Coconut is a bad business and anyone who relies on it will remain poor.

- Aryan, Panaji | 09 th January 2016 15:05


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