‘Census does not take into account major crops of the State'

Kerala Karshaka Union (M) has called for an immediate review of the directives pertaining to Census–2011 that do not incorporate the major agricultural crops of Kerala.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Wednesday, Kerala Karshaka Union (M) State president Mathew Stephen said that the nationwide census, which began on Wednesday, excludes the major crops of the State like coconut, rubber, areca nut, tapioca, coffee and tea from among the recognised agricultural produce in the handbooks distributed among the enumerators.

“In addition, pineapple, which is widely grown in the State, does not figure among the recognised fruit crops. Moreover, the directives do not consider farmers who sell milk as dairy farmers,” he said.

Mr. Stephen said farmers would suffer as a consequence of policies being implemented on the basis of the census. “Such a move will lead to a scenario in which the growers of these products will no longer be recognised as farmers. As a result, they would be denied their legitimate benefits. In addition to subsidies from the government, these farmers will also be refused agricultural loans by banks,” he said.

The union also urged the agencies like the Coconut Development Board, the National Horticultural Board (NHB), the Rubber Board and the Tea Board to alert the Central government on the implications, and also to rectify the shortcomings in the directives.

Farmers affiliated to the union will also observe a mass dharna in front of the Postmaster-General (PMG) Office in Thiruvananthapuram on February 23 as a mark of protest against implementing the current directives of the census.

Kerala Karshaka Union (M) State general secretaries P.C. Joseph and Reji Kunnamkode also addressed the press conference.

Keywords: Census 2011

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