India Education
Centre to fund Kerala body's plantation research
May 3, 2007 - 7:20:22 PM

Thiruvananthapuram, May 3 - Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh Thursday said the Centre for Development Studies - here would be provided funds to build a research facility to undertake studies in the plantation sector.

'I have asked the CDS director for a proposal and a sum of Rs.50 million would be given over a period of five years,' said Ramesh, speaking to reporters at the CDS.

Earlier, during an interaction with the CDS students and faculty, he said: 'The research capacity building is a must as in the next one decade Rs.80 billion would be invested in Kerala's plantation sector,' said the minister.

The funding would be through Ph.D. fellowships and for conducting studies in the plantation sector, including for tea, cardamom, coconut, pepper and rubber.

K. Narayanan Nair, director CDS, told IANS that the funding would be useful as almost all crops had been studied at the CDS. He said there had not been any study to assess the post WTO scenario on the plantation sector.

According to Ramesh, the biggest problem in Kerala in the plantation sector was the lack of a stable income for farmers for their crops.

'One problem is the low productivity of the plantation sector and the other is the much-debated issue of the opening of imports in the new world order. It is these areas where we require intellectual support. The funding will be given and support also taken from the Spices Board, Tea Board, Rubber Board and Coconut Development Board,' said Ramesh.

Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, a former faculty at the CDS, also participated in the interaction.

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