The 110th annual session of the United Planters' Association
of South India (Upasi), commencing at Coonoor on 26 September,
assumes added significance in view of the unprecedented
crisis in the plantation sector which has already resulted
in the closure of several estates.
session will assess the present situation in the plantation
sector and evolve a strategy to tide over the crisis by
identifying new products and markets, say Upasi sources.
Union Minister for Commerce, Law and Justice Arun Jaitely
will inaugurate the annual conference of Upasi.
Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Vidyasagar
Rao will be the guest of honor at the conference. The
session will be attended by captains of plantation industry,
helmsmen of commodity boards, and experts. A technical
session on plantation commodities is also on the agenda
of the two-day annual conference.
was the crash in the prices of plantation commodities
that rendered several plantation estates non-viable, resulting
in their closure. Rubber was the first to bear the brunt
of price crash. But of late the rubber sector has seen
a ray of hope for sustained rise in prices. The price
during the first six months ended June this year had gone
up from Rs 35.70 to Rs 41 per kg.
UPASI annual conference is expected to evolve ways and
means for increasing consumption of the commodity. Production
of rubber rose from 6.31 lakh tonnes in 2001-02 to 6.49
lakh tonnes in 2002-03 while the consumption went up from
6.3 lakh tonnes in 2001-02 to 6.95 lakh tonnes in 2002-03.
to projections by the Rubber Board, production is expected
to go up 6.85 lakh tonnes this year. Consumption, according
to the board, may also rise to 7.12 lakh tonnes.