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Centre for massive replantation of commercial crops

Written by: Staff

Chennai, Jun 17 (UNI) The Centre has chalked out a massive replantation proposal, with the financial assistance of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to increase the production of commercial crops namely rubber, pepper, coffee and tea in the coming years, according to Union Minister of State for Commerce Mr Jayram Ramesh.

Addressing a press conference here today he said, the Union Cabinet had already approved Rs 4700 crore replantation project covering 80,000 hectares for a period of 15 years. The money would be disbursed from this November.

Mr Ramesh said, under the replantation package, rubber would be replanted in 15,000 hectares at an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore for five years. 90,000 hectares of land would be allotted for coffee at a cost of Rs 600 crore while Rs 400 crore would go for pepper in 50,000 hectares, he added.

He said, so far 28 commodities namely handloom sarees, dhoties produced in the cooperatives in Tamil Nadu, Darjeeling Tea and Coimbatore's Wet Grinder were included in the one year old Geographical Indications Registry (GIR), in order to protect the rights of our agricultural and handicrafts products.

The Ministry also decided to apply for Nilgiris and Assam tea, Monsoon Coffee and, Malabar and Tellicherry Pepper to be included in the (GIR).

However, the government dropped the idea of enlisting Basmati Rice under GIR, as Pakistan also was producing the same. It was under consideration to apply GII for basmati rice jointly by both the countries, he said.

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