Coimbatore: Plantations play an integral role in the economy of South India and account for 68% of the total area of 15.6 lakh Hectares (HA) under plantations in the country.
Kerala (rubber, coffee, spices), Tamil Nadu (tea) and Karnataka (coffee) together accounted for almost a quarter of total tea output and almost the entire production of coffee, natural rubber, cardamom and spices, according to the United Planters’ Association of South India (UPASI).
Though South India accounted for only less than one-fourth of the country’s tea productiion, its contribution in the export front was nearly 50%, UPASI said.
The total area under plantation crops was estimated to be around 15.6 lakh HA, that was marginally less than 1% of the total cropped area in the country. But what is striking is the importance of plantations in South India, as it accounted for 68% of the total area of plantations, UPASI said.
Total value of the plantation commodities in 2006-07 was estimated at Rs18,000 crore, which accounted for nearly 2% of India’s total agricultural GDP. Export realisation was estimated at Rs4,700 crore, accounting for nearly 9% of the total agricultural and allied products.
The share of South India in the total value was estimated at 67%, whereas its share in the export value was 76%, UPASI said.