The United Planters Association of Southern India (Upasi) today urged the Centre that permission given to the Kerala government for local demarcation process be extended to the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka too.
The absence of a clear demarcation of lands for agriculture and plantation crops in the draft notification on the eco-sensitive region of Western Ghats would prove detrimental to the interests of plantations in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Peter Mathias, President, Upasi, said, in his address at the 121st Annual Conference of the association. Kerala has been placed outside the purview of the draft notification and was permitted to identify and excluded cultivated lands, including plantations with the identified eco-sensitive areas in the state, Mathias pointed out.
Upasi has urged the Union ministry of commerce to consider its suggestions given to the Tea Board to have detailed consultations with all stakeholders on its proposal for amendments to the Tea Act, he said. Compared to other coffee-growing countries, the research and development in Indian coffee sector was inadequate and was lagging. Upasi has urged the Coffee Board to give priority to research in coffee, Mathias said.
He reiterated Upasi’s request for a safeguard duty on natural rubber imported to India as such unrestricted and untimely import of large quantities of natural rubber was a major concern for the growers in view of the falling prices. Though pepper was getting remunerative prices of late, growers were worried as large quantities of imported pepper was getting to the India.
Most of these were through illegal channels, and was causing serious damage, he claimed.