Protesting over the drop in their crop prices, coconut farmers are now embarking on a novel way to boost their incomes; “tapping toddy” from the trees.

The practise is technically illegal, but the Farmers Relief Forum explained that on the 20 February, Kerala farmers would be tapping toddy as part of their “total rights declaration.” The practise will form the start of a campaign to boost awareness about the effects of trade unions.

Currently, it is the middlemen and the abkaris (liquor contractors) who reap the high returns from alcoholic drinks produced from coconut trees. Doing the manufacturing themselves, therefore “is meant to register our protest against the exploitation of coconut farmers who do not get what they really deserve,” explained A C Varket, state committee chairmen.