Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said that one of the key causes for rising prices of coconuts are wild monkeys, who pluck nuts off the trees before they are ready for harvest."These 'kheti' (a breed of wild monkeys) climb coconut trees... They pluck coconuts before they are ready and throw them down and that leads to a loss. The government cannot control that," Parrikar told a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers.Prices of coconut have gone up by at least 50 per cent over the last few weeks, with an average-sized coconut selling for about Rs 40-45, which has now forced the state government to even consider importing coconuts from Sri Lanka.
Coconuts are an essential food ingredient and the flesh inside the nut is used as a base commodity for most Goan curries.Parrikar, however, lashed out at Goa Pradesh Mahila Congress chief Pratima Couthino, who had last week launched a campaign against inflation in major markets in the state, where she sold coconuts for Rs 10 per unit."Some people just want to raise any random issue like coconuts. Congress women's president is selling coconuts at Rs 10 (per unit). It is good. She should also make it public how many she sold, so that people come to know how much publicity one can get after selling 500-1,000 coconuts," Parrikar said.