The Kerala government has announced a scheme of assured price of Rs 150 per kg for rubber farmers, who are reeling under crisis due to sharp fall in natural rubber prices. The price support will be available to farmers, who grow rubber in two hectares of land or less.
“The state Budget had set aside R300 crore for price stabilisation of rubber. This will be immediately brought to use to support the price,” chief minister Oommen Chandy said in the Assembly, in reply to a calling attention motion.
The rubber-consuming industry has already struck an alarm over the frustrated farmers making a fast exodus from latex production.
As much as the 85% of the rubber in the country is produced by farmers who cultivate in small holdings. From R120 per kg in April, the price of natural rubber has been bobbing in the R128 to R132 per kg band in June, though not yet emerging profitable enough to motivate farmers into replanting. From R250 per kg two years ago, the rubber price had even plunged to R100 per kg at one point.
“The state government is yet to get a reply from the Centre on the state’s plea to regulate import of natural rubber,” Chandy told the Assembly.
According to the new scheme, the differences between the Rubber Board-endorsed daily price and the support price of R150 would be credited to the farmer’s account. Farmers who avail the scheme would be given a certificate, that notes details about their annual rubber production.