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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 21 May 2024 12.06 AM IST

Support price of rubber hiked by Rs 10 to Rs 180, slight relief for farmer

rubber

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The finance minister announced an increase in the support price of rubber by Rs 10 to Rs 180. Minister K N Balagopal made the announcement while presenting the budget bringing some relief to the farmer. Presently the support price of rubber is Rs 170. Criticizing the lack of support despite seeking help from the central government to increase the support price, the finance minister said the support price is being increased to Rs 180 despite the financial crisis.

The farmers were hoping that the support price of rubber would be increased to Rs 200 per kg in the budget. This was taking into account the constant demand of the rubber farmers and keeping in mind the Lok Sabha elections. It was expected that the budget would also allocate more money to the rubber price stability fund than the previous year, but it did not happen.

Various Christian church leaders and the ruling Kerala Congress M have demanded that the support price be increased to Rs 250. There are about 9.5 lakh rubber farmers in the state. The area of the rubber to be tapped increased from 2,96,465 hectares in 2015-16 to 3,55,700 hectares in 2021-22. Production also increased from 4,38,630 tonnes to 5,56,600 tonnes.

Meantime, when the production is increasing in Kerala, it is alleged that the central government's uncontrolled import of rubber is a setback for the farmers. Imports increased from 4,58,374 tonnes in 2015-16 to 5,46,361 tonnes in 2021-22. Of this, 40.5 percent was imported duty-free as part of the ASEAN agreement. In this situation, the demand to increase the support price was strong.

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TAGS: SUPPORT PRICE, RUBBER, HIKED, RS 10, 180, SLIGHT RELIEF, FARMER
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