Kochi, May 8: Opposition Leader in the Kerala Assembly Oomen Chandy today said the Centre should ensure that the EXIM policies were farmer-friendly to help agriculturists across the country.
Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the 'International Conference on Natural Rubber Extension and Development' here, Mr Chandy said ''it was important that export import policies should help the farmers and protect their interests.'' On the record rubber prices prevailing in the market, Mr Chandy said it was good to note the rubber prices were on a rise and the farmers getting benefit for their efforts.
The area under rubber cultivation had increased from 94,879 hectare in 1956-57 to 6,15,200 hectare and the production rose almost 532 per cent in the period, he noted.
He also praised the efforts of the Rubber Board to ensure farmers got a fair price for their produce.
Speaking on the occasion, Parliamentarian Sebastain Paul said though globalisation had lot of disadvantages, the domestic rubber farmers were reaping the benefits of the high international price for the commodity.
''Though the record price of Rs 120 per kg is good, the flip side is its effect on the price of rubber-related products,'' he said.
Mr Chandy also released a logo for 'Indian Natural Rubber,' which was intended to increase the marketability of Indian natural rubber and to position it as a world-class product on par with international competitors.
Board Chairman Sajen Peter and Vice-Chairman Jacob Thomas were among those present.