Kerala today urged the union government to give 'special focus' for export promotion of Natural Rubber, Tea and Coffee from the state for value addition for export.
In a letter to Union Commerce minister Suresh Prabhu, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also wanted the centre to make necessary corrections in the draft Agricultural export policy to include Natural Rubber, Tea and Coffee from the state in the unique product-district clusters for value addition and for export promotion.
A copy of the letter was released to the media here.
The Chief minister pointed out that the state's rubber growers had been affected by the low price in natural rubber and the low value addition.
Lakhs of rubber farmers in kerala, who mostly own small and marginal holdings, need all the incentives and encouragement to double their income by 2022, he said.
Tea and Coffee plantations in the state also needed encouragement, he said.
The Chief Minister said a quick reading of the draft policy showed that there was a 'major omission'in the identification of 50 unique product district clusters, though it was indicated as provisional, for export promotion.
While pineapple in Ernakulam district and ginger in Waynad district have been included for cluster focus, Kerala's major agricultural products had not been included in the product-district clusters, he said.
Vijayan said rubber had been included in Tripura and Tea and Coffee, which are important to Kerala's economy, left out from the district clusters.
While agreeing that rubber production needs to be encouraged and promoted in states that have a suitable ecosystem, it is incomprehensible as to how Kerala, which accounted for 80 per cent of rubber production, had been left out from the cluster for export promotion, he said.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)