The government is considering a proposal for procurement of rubber to minimise the impact on farmers reeling under the fall in price of natural rubber, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the Assembly on Tuesday.
The government had sought an assistance of Rs.100 crore from the Price Stabilisation Fund Trust under the Union Commerce Ministry to address the crisis in the rubber sector.
The funds would be used to procure rubber from the growers, he said while replying to a calling attention motion moved by Raju Abraham in the House.
Mr. Chandy said the sliding price of rubber in the domestic market reflected the price fall at the global level.
Seeks curbs on imports
Agriculture Minister K.P. Mohanan told the House that the demand to declare rubber as agricultural produce was also under the consideration of the government. He said Kerala had asked the Centre for restrictions on rubber imports and incentives for export.
Earlier, moving the motion, Mr. Abraham said the government was insensitive to the crisis faced by rubber growers in Kerala following the sharp fall in price from Rs.248 a kg in 2011 to Rs.135 a kg.
Observing that more than 11 lakh families in the State depended on rubber cultivation, he said 60 per cent of the farmers had been forced to stop tapping of trees.
Source: The Hindu