The draft agriculture policy of the Centre has failed to protect the state’s interests. Only two clusters – for pineapple and ginger – have been allocated for Kerala, Sunilkumar said. Kerala, which accounts for 5.51 lakh hectares of the total 8.18 lakh hectares of rubber cultivation in the country, has been left out from the draft list. 

The state’s demand is the following clusters should be allocated for Kerala: Banana (Thrissur, Wayanad), pineapple (Ernakulam), ginger (Wayanad), turmeric (Wayanad, Alappuzha), cardamom (Idukki), nutmeg (Ernakulam, Thrissur) and coconut (Kozhikode, Malappuram, Kannur, Kasargod, Palakkad and Thrissur). 

Agriculture Minister VS Sunilkumar said he will meet the Union Commerce Minister and demand the inclusion of rubber production districts of Kottayam, Idukki, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Ernakulam in a ‘rubber cluster.’

The state also wants clusters for cashew (Kannur) and pepper (Wayanad) which have not found a mention in the Central list.

Chander Mohan

Krishi Jagran/New Delhi

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