KOCHI: The crisis faced by the rubber plantations in Kerala should be addressed on a war footing as the sector contributes around Rs 18,000 crore to the state’s GDP, KeralaGovernor P Sathasivam has said.
Voicing concern at the difficulties faced by the rubber industry due to fluctuating prices, the governor said the climatic changes and the shortage of new tracks for expansion have adversely affected plantations.
Speaking at the platinum jubilee conference of the Association of Planters of Kerala (APK) in Kochi on Thursday, Sathasivam said litigations involving management and labour in plantations have led to wastage of time and money.
“As far as possible it should be settled through forums like Lok Adalats and other conciliation committees instead of taking it up to the SC,” said Sathasivam, adding that the money the aggrieved party gets may make little difference ultimately as it may take years to settle the disputes in courts.
Percy Siganporia, chairman of Kanan Devan Hill Plantations, called for speedy implementation of the 5 per cent leeway allowed to plantations in the state for diversification and inter-cropping to make plan tations viable. APK chairman Gilbert D’souza said the plantation sector has plunged into a crisis due to lower prices stemming from oversupply in the global market. Prices of rubber and tea have plummeted in the last few months.
D’souza said the situation in the state will not improve without the cooperation of the labour and the government.
– India Times