Rubber growers seek minimum support price

Pointing out at the deep fall in the prices of natural rubber over the past five years, Karnataka Rubber Planters Association (KRUPA) on Tuesday demanded that the State government provide minimum support price to growers under the market intervention scheme.

Addressing presspersons here, N. Sharath Bhandary, president, KRUPA, said that the prices crashed from ₹ 245 a kg in January 2012 to ₹ 118 a kg in October 2019. The Kerala government has ensured that rubbers growers in its State were given ₹ 150 a kg, which is the minimum production cost per kg, as minimum support price.

Mr. Bhandary said that the association had sought from the earlier coalition government in the State ₹ 160 a kg as minimum support price. But the growers did not get it. Now, the association again would meet Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to pursue its demand further.

P. Gopalakrishna Bhat, secretary, KRUPA, said that earlier, the State Horticulture Department had recommended to the Union government that ₹ 10 crore could be reserved under the market intervention scheme for providing minimum support price to rubber growers in the State.

But with about 60,000 growers in the State the amount recommended is not enough. It is because about 93 % of them are small growers who would get benefited much from it. Hence, the government should increase the reserve amount under the market intervention scheme.

Mr. Bhat said that with the steep fall in the prices of natural rubber, many growers had stopped tapping latex as the expenses involved are more than the minimum production cost. Some farmers are thinking of switching to other crops and not to re-plant rubber.

Mr. Bhandary said that the State had about 55,000 hectares under rubber cultivation spread over Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu, Uttara Kannada, Shivamogga and parts of Hassan and Mysuru. The State has achieved 50 % of the estimated potential of cultivating about one lakh hectares. The State produced about 40,000 tonnes of natural rubber in the last financial year which was about 6 % of the national production. The State’s consumption was about 60,000 tonnes.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 2:57:27 AM |

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