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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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Drink Tea for Thinner Body, Beautiful Skin

Experts at the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP), which provides objective information about tea, have enlisted the beauty secrets behind a cup of tea:

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tea
Drinking tea can be beneficial mentally, emotionally, socially and physically. Pixabay

Scientific research testifies to the health benefits of all kinds of tea, which not only help with beauty factors but also weight loss and hydration of skin, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

Experts at the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP), which provides objective information about tea, have enlisted the beauty secrets behind a cup of tea:

* Provides water to skin: Good hydration is important for the health of all our body organs, tissues and cells. A recent study suggested that drinking up to six cups of tea per day, has the same hydrating properties to water.

* The role of tea in skin health: Healthy skin is well hydrated skin.Drinking enough fluid which can include all types of tea is important for restoring fluid loss which can occur to a greater extent during summer. Adequate hydration can help to keep the skin in good condition.

tea
A recent study suggested that drinking up to six cups of tea per day, has the same hydrating properties to water. Pixabay

White tea has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory activity in human skin. In one study, human skin cells were exposed in the laboratory to hydrogen peroxide. White tea was shown to reduce the inflammation that would normally result from hydrogen peroxide exposure.

* Tea and weight loss: Tea consumption has been associated with less weight gain over time. Drinking tea more than once a week has been linked to lower body fat percentages and smaller waist circumferences than non-tea drinkers. It is also important to note that all teas, including black tea, with semi-skimmed milk and no sugar, is a lower calorie alternative than other popular drinks. Tea has been recommended to take precedence over other beverages to help reduce energy intake and maintain hydration.

Also Read: Want Glowing Skin? Include Vinegar in Diet

* Tea bags for beauty: While tea has great hydrating properties vital for our skin beauty and helps aid weight loss, the humble tea bag can also offer a host of beauty secrets. Tea bags soaked in warm water and placed over closed eyes revitalise tired puffy eyes. Freshly brewed tea as a conditioning final rinse after a shampoo. Peppermint tea makes a great soothing mouthwash. (Bollywood Country)