Spl schemes launched for tea, rubber, coffee: Minister

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New Delhi, Mar 11 (UNI) The government has launched special schemes for replanting tea, coffee and rubber plants by heavily subsidising the replacement of senile and old plants outlasting 35 years during Eleventh Plan, Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh informed the Lok Sabha today.

Under a Special Purpose Tea Fund (SPTF) programme taken up in January 2007, 2.13 lakh hectates of old and uneconomical sections of tea will be rejuvenated with the government's financial assistance to the tune of 75 per cent of the assessed cost during a period of 15 years.

However, during 11th Plan, 85,044 hectares of tea gandens will be rejuvenated at the cost of Rs 300 crore, the Minister said.

Similarly, an area of 80,000 hectares out of 3.81 lakh hectares of senile coffee plantation needs replantation and 40,000 hectares taken up during the 11th Plan. In the Tenth Plan, 20 per cent of replantation cost was paid to the small and medium growers as subsidy.

In the case of rubber, the Rubber Board has decided to pay a subsidy of Rs 20,000 per hectare to small growers and Rs 16,000 a hectare to bigger growers with an area of more than 5 hectares for rejuvenation of plants spreading over 33,500 hectares in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and North Eastern region.

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