Finance minister K M Mani has urged procurement agencies, Rubbermark and Marketfed, to intensify procurement of rubber in the wake of steep fall in the price of rubber. “Rs 10cr has already been set apart by the government for procuring rubber at a price higher than the market price”, Mani said in the assembly on Tuesday.
The finance minister, however, didn’t give a conclusive reply to the demand of hiking the procurement price of rubber higher by Rs 5 instead of the existing practice of giving Rs. 2 above the market price.
The crisis of rubber farmers was brought to the attention of the house by chief whip P C George.
“The price of rubber was Rs 240 per kg around this time last year. Today, it has fallen to Rs 131 per kg. Last month, the price was Rs. 144 per kg. The small scale farmers at different parts of the state have been severely hit by the price fall. When the government announced procurement of rubber, the CM promised to procure rubber at Rs. 171 per kg”, said George. He said the government has so far spent Rs. 320 Cr for paddy procurement and it should show some concern towards rubber farmers as well.
K M Mani said till the last day of last fiscal, 138 metric tonnes of rubber had been procured by Rubbermark and Marketfed. “Rs 2.08 Cr has been spent for procuring rubber and the government has already given Rs. 8.37 lakh as handling charges for agencies”, said Mani.
“Though the crisis is deep with the farmers are not getting price proportionate to the production cost of rubber, the agencies are not showing expected vigil to procure rubber,” said Mani.
Mani requested agriculture minister K P Mohanan to announce a little more realistic price for procuring rubber to which Mohanan replied that he would convene a meeting soon to discuss the issue. “The meeting will be held in the presence of chief minister”, he assured.
intensify procurement of rubber