The Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (CAMPCO) has urged the State Government to buy rubber produced in Karnataka under minimum support price on the lines of the Kerala Government to save rubber farmers from price drop crisis.
It has also urged Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to prevail upon the central government to impose a uniform import duty of 25% both on natural and compound rubbers. While natural rubber attracts a 25% import duty, compound rubber attracts a 10% duty, said CAMPCO President A. Kishore Kumar Kodgi in a statement here. Unscrupulous traders were misusing this provision and were importing natural rubber labelling it compound rubber thereby severely affecting rubber growers in the State.
Mr. Kodgi told the Chief Minister that farmers on the coast and Malenadu have been cultivating rubber along with arecanut for their sustenance while the Campco has been helping them to market the rubber to promote the cultivation of mixed crops. However, the recent price drop in the rubber market has severely affected the rubber growers, who were pushed to the extent of cutting down grown up rubber trees.
He noted that the cost of production of 1 kg of natural rubber was estimated at ₹172 by the Rubber Board in 2016 and at the present rate, it has reached ₹250. With the weather being conducive for good rubber production in neighbouring Kerala, prices were likely to fall further.
Therefore, Mr. Kodgi urged the government to buy rubber under MSP to save farmers from crisis.