Planters in south India should be innovative and look at ways to add value to their produce, said the speakers at the annual meeting of United Planters Association of Southern India (UPASI) in Coonoor on Monday.
The conference focused on quality improvement, innovation, differentiation, and marketing strategies that the planters should adopt.
"Growers get less in the value chain. Retailers like to commoditise the crop. So, the conference is on quality improvement and innovation," said M.P. Cherian, president of UPASI.
Climate change and the risks that accompanied it were a major challenge for coffee growers. In the case of tea, the percentage of exports out of the total tea production in South India had reduced. And, rubber imports were again on the rise, he pointed out.
Speakers highlighted the global dynamics in plantation crops, good harvest practices, need to innovate and the need for branding.
As part of the conference, an exhibition of 60 stalls had companies from different parts of the country, including Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Gurgaon, displaying agro inputs, implements, and technology for plantation crops.