Mr. T.J. Varghese Vaidyan, Chairman, The Planters’ Association of Tamil Nadu, (PAT) appealed to the state government to bring plantation industry under the single administrative control while addressing at the Annual General Meeting of PAT on Sept 23, at Coimbatore.
He said during the year 2022, the overall global tea production as against the previous year was higher, despite several major tea producing countries experiencing decline in their individual output, most notably Sri Lanka and China. African producers benefitted from better prices at their auctions. While the overall Indian Tea production and price levels saw an increase, the South Indian production and average price realisation in 2002 saw a significant decline. However, the total Indian tea exports were notably higher. Coming to the coffee segment, Indian coffee production, export and prices were higher in 2022-23, as against the previous year. While domestic natural rubber production improved in 2022, prices continued to fall as against the previous year. Domestic cardamom production and prices in 2022-23 improved much over the previous year.
It is a regrettable fact that even after 70 years, the plantation industry has not been placed under the administrative control of any single department of the Government of Tamil Nadu. The issues relating to the industry are multifarious, pertaining to several departments of the Government like, Labour, Forest, Revenue, PWD, Electricity etc to name a few. Absence of a controlling department for plantations has led to a situation of issues of the industry getting adrift within the Government machinery. Our plea for a coordinating agency within the Government for dealing with plantation issues has remained unattended. In this connection, the formation of a Plantation Directorate in the Government of Kerala should serve as an inspiration for the Government of Tamil Nadu for creating a similar mechanism in our State, he pleaded.