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Kerala’s plantation sector headed for turmoil

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Thiruvananthapuram: Mounting costs of producing tea, rubber, cardamom and coffee and the low prices the yield fetches is severely affecting the plantation sector in Kerala, an official of the planters’ organisation said on Wednesday.

B.K. Ajith, secretary of the Association of Planters Kerala (APK) – an umbrella organization of planters of tea, rubber, cardamom and coffee – said the plantation sector can go haywire in two months.

The group represents about 60 percent of the organised plantation sector in the state.

Kerala today accounts for 82 percent of the country’s rubber production, 71 percent of cardamom, six percent of the tea and 21 percent of the coffee.

The daily wages of more than three lakh plantation workers, who ended their three week-long strike early this month, were increased recently.

But Ajith hinted at other factors which lead to an increase in the production costs.

The production costs of cardamom stands at Rs.700 a kg, while the market price of a kilogram of cardamom is Rs.620, he said.

“Coffee planters in Kerala are going to be seriously affected as production in Brazil has reached much higher levels. There has been a currency devaluation as well. Thus, all cash crops in Kerala will be seriously affected,” added Ajith.

APK officials are also peeved that their long standing demands for reducing the plantation, agricultural and land taxes have fallen on deaf ears.

While Tamil Nadu levies no taxes in the plantation sector, Kerala charges Rs.700 a hectare as plantation tax. The agriculture income tax is 50 percent of the profits, while in other states it is 28 percent. The land tax here is Rs.500 a hectare, Ajith complained.

Similarly, the electricity tariff was increased for the plantation sector last year, he said.

“If something drastic does not happen, things will come to a halt very soon,” said Ajith.

(IANS)

 

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High BP Patients Prefer Pills and Tea Rather Than Exercise

Most survey respondents were under 45 and half were female and most had high blood pressure

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Representational Image. Pixabay

People are more likely to choose a daily cup of tea or a pill over exercise as the preferred treatment to control their high blood pressure, finds a survey.

In the survey, 79 per cent of respondents said they would be willing to take a pill for an extra month of life and 78 per cent said they would drink a daily cup of tea for one extra month of life. However, only 63 per cent said they would be willing to exercise for an extra month of life.

Exercise is less preferred by BP patients. IANS

“Our findings demonstrate that people naturally assign different weights to the pluses and minuses of interventions to improve cardiovascular health,” said lead author Erica Spatz, Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Medicine in Connecticut.

While “we are good about discussing side effects, rarely do we find out if other inconveniences or burdens may be impacting a person’s willingness to take a lifelong medication or to exercise regularly”. Researchers asked nearly 1,500 US adults to imagine that they had high blood pressure and then asked about their willingness to adopt any of four “treatments” to gain an extra month, year or five years of life.

Also Read: Common BP Drug May Prevent Onset Of Type 1 Diabetes

The “treatments” proposed were — a daily cup of tea, exercise, pills or monthly or semi-annual injections. Only 68 per cent preferred taking semi-annual injections, if it would give them an extra month of life. In addition, a mere 20 per cent wanted to achieve gains in life expectancy beyond what any of the individual interventions could provide.

Parle g is staple to Indians and their tea. Facebook
Pills and Tea are prefered more by High BP patients. Facebook

Most survey respondents were under 45 and half were female and most had high blood pressure. Hypertension is a leading risk factor for heart and blood vessel, or cardiovascular, disease. Yet, it is often called the silent killer because it causes no symptoms.

The American Heart Association recommends getting regular physical activity, in addition to other lifestyle changes including eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol, managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight and quitting smoking. IANS

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