Kerala government will consider setting up a single window facility for plantation sector to get necessary approvals, P.Rajeeve, the State Industries Minister has said.
Speaking at the 83 rd AGM of the Association of Planters of Kerala (APK) here, the Minister said the government is not against plantation sector’s value addition and they should utilise fully the five per cent land allotted to carry out agriculture and other allied activities, including farm tourism. Timely actions are necessary for the diversification of plantations sector.
He urged planters to collectively think over making plantations profitable. The sector should come out with products as per the demand in the new era. Exotic fruit production is a viable opportunity in providing good source of income. If there is any practical difficulty in availing any benefits of the Land Reform Act amendment, the Minister asked planters to approach directly.
SB Prabhakar, the outgoing chairman of APK, said that the plantation industry was able to cope-up after the pandemic. However, the subsequent geopolitical turmoil in Europe and unprecedented inflationary pressures in the US and the European economies have further accentuated the problems. Its multiplying effects have resulted in spiraling cost of production, disruption of supply chains, increased logistical, input and labor costs, and shortages of essential inputs.
The impact of climate change has further rattled the financial viability of plantation industry and the muted demand of plantation commodities across the markets along with unrestricted imports have further depressed the prices. The growers are selling their commodities below the production cost.
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He requested the State government to consider paying capacity of the industry in ensuing wage negotiations and also move to productivity-linked wages for mutual benefit of our workforce and managements alike.
The Minister also conferred APK’s Life-Time achievement award to R.K. Krishnakumar, Trustee, Tata Trust for his overall contribution to the plantation sector and special award to Ratna Krishnakumar, Founder of Srishti Welfare Trust at the function.