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Saturday, Mar 27, 2004

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Dry spell hits plantation sector

Our Bureau

Coimbatore , March 26

IF low price and quality of the plantation commodity had been the issue hitherto, it is now compounded by the unprecedented drought, which appears to have cast a spell on the plantation sector, particularly in the South.

"It is not just the crop yield level. The drought has aggravated the Red Spider Mite infestation on the crop. This actually causes great damage to the crop. The lack of crop and the inability to carry out seasonal operations has rendered a good number of plantation workers jobless. Estate managements are struggling to provide daily employment even to their permanent workers. If the dry spell continues, many estates will be forced to resort to lay off its workforce," said Mr Ramkumar, Secretary, The Planters' Association of Tamil Nadu (PAT).

Stating that the dry weather conditions during the last three months had been the longest spell since 1981, the PAT Secretary said that the tea crop production had started to fall.

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