Plantation industry facing structural crisis: Jairam Ramesh
Bangalore, Aug 25(UNI) The Plantation sector, one of the largest employment source after agriculture and handloom, was facing structural crisis due to lack of application of latest technology Union Minister of state for Commerce and Industry Jairam Ramesh said here today.
Speaking after inaugurating the sixth batch of Postgraduate Diplomo in Agri Business and Plantation Management (PGD- ABPM) of the Indian Institute of Plantation management has expressed concern that the sector was not getting deserved attention for investment while facing international challenges in market competition.
Besides technological obsolence, the industry reeled under marketing and management problems, he said.
He said that small countries like Sri Lanka, Venezuala, Vietnam were emerging as major competitors for India at the international market as for as plantation produce was concerned. He said the export of plantation crops remained at 1.5 per cent of the total exports and exhorted that there was a need to channalise more investment in the sector to make it more viable, competitive and sustainable.
Presenting the vital social significance attached to the plantation sector the Union Minister said over 60 per cent of the total labourers involved in the industry were women and majority of them drawn from weaker section of the society.
While appreciating the IIPM, the only institution of its kind in South Asia, he said it added value to the plantation sector in terms of management. He assured that the union government would extend all assistance in promoting it as a centre of excellence and also develop as premier institution at the global level.
Mr P P Prabhu, the chairman of the IIPM in his address said the institution which was in its sixth year of its operations was also involved in research activities on various plantation sector related issues besides imparting management education to the entrants in the agri-business and plantation sector. As a strategic institution, IIPM has evolved its activities around a unique and innovative 'Reach-out" model based on the concept of on-site education facilitating a closer interaction between the institute and the industry. The IIPM had plans to start distance learning programme and go for collaborations with reputed foreign acadamia to bring more value into its research and teaching faculty.
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