Coonoor: The plantation sector should focus on quality to rule the global market, said Giriraj Singh, Union minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises, who inaugurated the 124th annual conference of United Planters' Association South India (Upasi) here on Wednesday.
Stressing the need to change over to organic farming, Mr Giriraj Singh said that chemical fertilizers and pesticides known to play havoc with the soil health and productivity that leads to low yielding in the course of time. Saying that soil health also depends upon the good irrigation, he said to raise good crops the plantation sector should attach utmost importance to water conservation and wise use of water sources.
Pointing that attempts are being made to extract amino acids from the hair strands collected from saloon, Mr Singh also touched upon the need to take to recycling and added that the concept of wealth from waste and use it for health should be implemented in the plantation industry to ensure that wastes too add up to wealth and growth.
He further appealed to the plantation industry to look for more avenues to create job opportunities as this sector is capable of providing employment opportunities either directly or indirectly to thousands and lakhs of unemployed youth in the country.
Mr Parsottambhai Rupala, Union minster of state for agriculture and farmers welfare and minister of state in the ministry of Panchayat Raj, in his address asked the stake holders in the plantation sector to formulate new marketing strategies to promote tea and other plantation produce.
Since there is always good demand for plantation products, there should not be any complaints about any kind of loss or low income in this industry.
He appealed to proprietors in the plantation sector to utilize the Prime Minister's insurance scheme for the workers by coming forward to pay the premium for the scheme, which is very minimal. He also assured that he is ready to take up with the government the issues related to minimum price and minim wage. D. Vinod Sivappa, president of Upasi and T. Jayaraman, Vice-President of UPASI also spoke on the occasion.