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For the first time in Kerala, women are conquering a domain that was a monopoly of men, that of coconut pollination, a process of artificially pollinating seed nuts of hybrid coconut palms reports The Hindu.

A training programme for women in coconut pollination evoked a good response during a “Friends of Coconut Trees” programme (FoCT) organised by the Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI). Thirty four ladies, mostly housewives, underwent training in pollination techniques.

Earlier women were not much interested in climbing the trees as it was always considered a tough job and a male bastion. But today they want to prove they are also capable and on par with men in farm work.

Feedback studies show that the training programme in artificial pollination done by women is a big hit among rural women in the region as it helps in their financial empowerment. Among the five groups functioning in the district now, two groups comprise only women.

“The women are doing an excellent job in a professional manner. Unlike some male coconut climbers, women are not addicted to alcohol and do not absent themselves from work. Once they commit they are on the job. It is heartening to see them comfortably sitting on top of the coconut tree carrying out with ease the different operations,” says Chethan, a coconut garden owner, who has made use of the women training skills in his farm.

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