South Indian commodity planters to focus on marketing

"Though prices, quality, productivity and export will be discussed, the focus of the 117th annual meet is on marketing to face the growing competition and sustain the growth path in the commodity plantation sector," a trade official told IANS here on Sunday.

Three state planters' associations and 13 district planters' association under the banner of United Planters' Association of South India (Upasi) will discuss the issues plaguing the industry.

With 70 percent of coffee production, mostly from Karnataka, is being exported annually, dip in prices and increasing domestic consumption of tea have made its growers in Tamil Nadu and Kerala seek relief and a level-playing field.

"Tea production and upward price movement in north-east India is benefiting its growers, while their counterparts in south India have been grappling with dip in prices and competition," United Planters' Association of South India (Upasi) commodities' head R. Sanjith said.

Similarly, natural rubber has seen a spurt in demand in the domestic market due to a boom in the automotive sector spiralling a demand for tyres and other products and the overall growing output of the Indian manufacturing industry.

Chairmen of the respective commodity boards will spell out their plans covering the gamut of each plantation.

Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily will address the convention on Tuesday."We are also holding special sessions on exploring carbon trading by the plantation sector to minimise the impact of global warming or climate change on production, processing and value addition," Sanjith said.

Upasi will also hold an industrial exhibition to showcase products and technological and scientific advancements in the plantation sector.

As an apex body of commodity planters in southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, the over century-old Upasi provides a common platform for growers, buyers, sellers, exporters and market intermediaries to address their challenges and concerns.

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