Thursday January 17, 2019
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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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Habitual Tea Drinking May Lead to Higher Bone Density

Those who drink green tea or have drunk tea for over 30 years have a 20 to 30 percent lower risk in hip bone fracture

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Habitual tea drinking can lower risk of fracture. Pixabay

Habitual tea drinking can lead to higher bone density, particularly for women, and lower the risk of bone fractures, according to a prospective study of 450,000 adults by Chinese researchers.

Although little is known about the cause of the association, the research conducted by the School of Public Health with Peking University found daily consumers of green tea and those who had drunk tea for more than 30 years have a lower rate of fractures according to their hospitalization records, reports Xinhua news agency.

The paper on the research was published in the international journals Nutrients and Osteoporosis International.

Li Liming, a professor who led the research, said the study included 453,625 people randomly selected from the China Kadoorie Biobank and documented their records on hospitalized fractures.

Iced Tea. Pixabay

Based on their self-reported tea consumption, the researchers found that compared with those who do not drink tea, daily tea consumers have a 12 percent lower risk of fracture.

Those who drink green tea or have drunk tea for over 30 years have a 20 to 30 percent lower risk in hip bone fracture.

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Li said bone density had become an important subject of public health. Previous researches also suggested a certain association between habitual tea drinking and higher bone density among menopausal women.

He said the prospective study still needs a more substantial sample analysis for more accurate results linking the association between tea drinking and bone density since tea drinking may affect other factors such as improving people’s concentration and vigilance. (IANS)