COONOOR: As the 126th annual conference of United Planters Association of South India (UPASI), was held here in Coonoor, the tea capital of the Nilgiris, on Saturday.
Prof. Ramesh Chand, member, National Institution of Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, asked the planters to pursue a development path rather than a dependent path to take the plantation industry to new heights.
In his address, Prof. Ramesh Chand, touching upon some of the issues faced by the plantation industry after in post-WTO scenario said, "fluctuation in prices for plantation commodities has become a cause of concern, though the volume of production has been good. Planters should sit, discuss and find out the reasons to address the issues to be back on track."
Stressing on the formation of an expert team on international market intelligence to respond to the changes in the plantation sector, Ramesh said that planters need to evolve mechanisms and methods to make plantation commodities globally competitive. They should also analyze the behavior of consumers in the changing world, to make value addition to keep pace with the global trend. For this, research and development fraternity should continuously work to make headway to influence the buyers and consumers, he advised.
Pointing that fisheries and livestock sector where sops from the government is comparatively less, have recorded 7.50 per cent and 6.5 per cent growth respectively, he said, horticulture and field crops with good subsidy package have recorded only 3.5 per cent and 1 per cent growth respectively. This showed that the fisheries and livestock sector evolved their own mechanisms to be on the development path rather than rely on a dependent path and plantation industry should pick up the cue, he added.
Earlier, A.E. Joseph, president, UPASI, listed out the various hurdles which the plantation sector is facing in recent times, and wanted the government to address these issues.