The Department of Industries and Commerce has signed an MoU with the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode for conducting a comprehensive study on diversification and optimization of revenue from plantations in Kerala as part of various plans envisaged in wake of the formation of the Plantation Directorate under DIC.

The MoU in this regard was inked in the presence of Industries Minister P Rajeeve by Plantations Special Officer and Director, DIC, S Harikishore and IIMK Mentor Anandakuttan.

The Minister said the agreement with IIMK was part of a set of upfront initiatives under way to enhance revenue from plantations and build ‘Kerala Plantation’ as a global brand known for value-addition of a wide range of plantation crops.

The government is also looking into the possibility of raising the land ceiling on plantations when they are used for taking up activities on industrial lines by following due legal procedures to enhance revenue from them.

Other initiatives

Other initiatives under way include promotion of cultivation of commercially-viable fruits and supplementary crops, value-addition of produce, introduction of new technology and machinery and leveraging plantations for a range of farm-related activities based on due procedures.

IIMK Director Debashis Chatterjee said IIMK’s approach will be based on authentic research, sustainable systems and comprehensive revamp in the diversification of plantation sector, which is critical in the state’s economy and commerce.

Earlier, the government had sanctioned fund for conduct of a comprehensive study on the diversification and revamp of plantation sector by taking on board a competent agency. Following this, tenders were invited and an expert technical committee appointed by the government selected IIMK after evaluating its bid.