JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use the Site in standard view. However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options.

| Last Updated:: 19/07/2014

Agriculture

 

 

| Cash Crops   | Agro-Ecological Zones   | Important Plantation Crops |

Agriculture: Kerala, the State with network of azure backwaters, rivers and streams, boasts of an agrarian economy. The abundance of water due to the 34 lakes and other small streamlets, innumerable backwaters and water bodies and 44 rain-fed rivers flowing over the terrain of the state and also the adequate annual rainfall of 3000mm received by this state probably facilitates agriculture to a great extent and hence the economy of the state is dominated by agriculture.

 

Trends in Agricultural Income in Kerala: The provisional estimate of agricultural income of the state recorded a negative growth of 1.79% percent during 2009-10.  The quick estimate for 2010-11 also indicated a decline of 0.78 percent in growth over 2009-10. The share of agriculture and allied sectors in GSDP indicated a continuous decline in the state. The share was 17.48% during 2004-05 and declined to 10.59% in 2010-11.Real GDP growth at factor cost increased to 8.5 percent in 2010-11 from 8.0 percent in 2009-10 in the country. After two consecutive years of subdued performance, agriculture turned into a significant drives of growth in 2010-11. The simultaneous occurrence of a normal and well distributed South West monsoon and excess NE monsoon, the first occasion in the last one decade enabled both kharif and rabi sowing to be above normal and consequently there was record food grain production in 2010-11.

 

                

 

            The growth performance of the agriculture sector has been fluctuating across the plan periods. It witnessed a negative growth rate of 1.3 percent in XIth Five Year Plan while a positive growth of 1.8 percent in Xth Plan period. The quick estimate of 2011-12 indicated a negative growth of 1.6 percent over the previous year. The provisional estimate of agricultural income of the state again shows a negative growth of 4.5 percent during 2010-11.The crippling growth rate in agriculture as against a reasonably robust annual growth rate of GSDP of the State is a cause of concern. The agriculture in Kerala has undergone significant structural changes in the form of decline in share of GSDP from 26.9 percent in 1990-91 to 9.1 percent in 2011-12, indicating a shift from the agrarian economy towards a service sector dominated economy.  During the year 2012-13,  there has been a turnaround  with the quick estimate indicating a growth rate of 4.39 per cent over the previous year,the sub sector wise growth rate being agriculture (5.62percent), forestry and logging (1.26percent) and fisheries (-2.79 percent). The revival is reported mainly due to the dynamism in the livestock sector.The annual growth rate of agricultural income and share of agricultural GSDP for the last five years are shown in below:

 

Sl No

Year

Rate of change over  previous year

Share of agriculture and allied sectors in GSDP

1

2008-2009

2.08

12.7

2

2009-2010

-3.01

11.5

3

2010-2011

-7.28

10.1

4

2011-2012*

-0.15

9.1

5

2012-2013**

5.62

8.95



 

(*Provisional ** Quick)

 

Source: Directorate of Economics and Statistics

 

Crops

            The most essential or the staple crop is the rice or paddy. About 600 varieties of rice are  grown in the sprawling paddy fields of Kerala. In fact the Kuttanad region of the district of Kerala is known as the 'rice bowl of the state' and enjoys a significant status in the production of rice.

            Next to rice is Tapioca and is cultivated mainly in the drier regions. Tapioca is a major food of the Keralites. Besides production of the main crop, Kerala is also a major producer of spices that form the cash crops of the state. Kerala produces 96% of the country's national output of pepper. The important spices are cardamom, cinnamon, clove, turmeric, nutmeg and vanilla.

            Other cash crops that constitute the agricultural sector include tea , coffee cashew, pulses ,areca nut, ginger and coconut. In fact coconut provides the principal source of income in Kerala- from coir industry to coconut shell artifacts. Cashew is also an essential cash crop. Kerala also accounts for 91% of natural rubber production of the country. Kottayam district has extensive areas producing and processing rubber. Apart from rubber, other plantation crop likes plantains or bananas are also grown in plenty.

 

Trend in Area, Production and Productivity of Crops and Performance :

            Food grain production in country has reached a record value of 244.8 million tons in 2010-11. Production of rice alone was to the tune of 96.0 million tons in 2010-11.The estimated production of rice for the country is 102.8 million tons in 2011-12.Data regarding the area, production and productivity of important crops grown in Kerala are shown below. Out of a gross cropped area of 26.69 lakh ha. in 2009-10, food crops comprising rice, pulses and tapioca occupy only 11.74 percent. But in 2010-11, it reduced to 8.13%. Kerala state which had a low base in food production is facing serious challenges in retaining even this meager area. Kerala agricultural economy is undergoing structural transformation from the mid seventies by switching over a large proportion of its traditional crop area which was devoted to subsistence crops like rice and tapioca to more remunerative crops like banana and other plantations.

            The area under rice has been declining consistently over the last several years. After a long period of continuous decline, area under paddy increased from 2.29 lakh ha in 2007-08 to 2.34 lakh ha in 2008-09 and slightly declined by 252 ha only in 2009-10. But a sharp fall of area by 20828 ha was marked during 2010-11. In the case of tapioca, the area declined from 0.75 lakh ha in 2009-10 to 0.72 lakh ha. in 2010-11. Area under cashew nut was 0.49 lakh ha in 2009-10. But it declined to 0.44 lakh ha during 2010-11. 

            In the case of coconut, area was at its peak during 2000-01. During the year 2010-11, the area declined by 8145 ha. Major commercial crops which had recorded reduction of area during 2010-11 are coconut (8145 ha), cardamom (351 ha), turmeric (47 ha), cashew nut (5124 ha) and tapioca (2572 ha). The major crops with considerable gain in area include pepper (693 ha), ginger (680 ha),banana (7396 ha), arecanut (646 ha), other plantains (1327 ha), coffee (135 ha), tea (120 ha) and rubber (8822 ha). The crops which have failed to sustain the production level from 2009-10 are cashew,tapioca and coconut. In 2010-11 some of the crops indicated increase in production over 2009-10. These crops are pepper (16770 MT), ginger (4594 MT), turmeric (150 MT), cardamom (135 MT), banana (77425 MT) and other plantains (15226 MT). The crops which have marked decline in the production level during 2010-11 are rice (75598 MT), pulses (482 MT), arecanut (16854 MT), cashew nut (1066MT), tapioca (165303 MT), coconut (388 million nuts) and tea (703 MT).

Data regarding the area, production and productivity of important crops grown in Kerala during 2011-12 are shown here .  Out of a gross cropped area of 26.6 lakh ha. In 2011-12, food crops comprising rice, pulses and tapioca occupy 10.8 percent. Kerala state which had a low base in food production is facing serious challenges in retaining even this meager area. Kerala agricultural economy is undergoing structural transformation from the mid seventies by switching over a large proportion of its traditional crop area which was devoted to subsistence crops like rice and tapioca to more remunerative crops like banana and plantations.

            During 2011-12, the area under rice declined by 5027 ha. In the case of pepper, the area declined from 1.7 lakh ha in 2010-11 to 0.9 lakh ha. in 2011-12. Area under coconut was 7.7 lakh ha in 2010-11. But it increased to 8.2 lakh ha during 2011-12. All the major crops except rice and pepper showed increase in area in 2011-12. Similarly production of all major crops increased in 2011-12 except pepper. Substantial increase in production of rice is reported to the tune of 9 percent in 2011-12. In the case of coconut 12 percent increase in productivity is also reported.

            Data regarding the area, production and productivity of important crops grown in Kerala during 2012-13  are shown here. Out of a gross cropped area of 25.92 lakh ha. in 2012-13, food crops comprising rice, pulses and tapioca occupy 10.4 percent. Kerala state which had a low base in food production is facing serious challenges in retaining even this meager area. Kerala agricultural economy is undergoing structural transformation from the mid seventies by switching over a large proportion of its traditional crop area which was devoted to subsistence crops like rice and tapioca to more remunerative crops like banana and plantations. All the major crops except rubber, banana and other plantains showed decline in area in 2012-13. While the production of rubber, pepper, tea, pulses, banana and other plantains showed an increase, all other crops showed a decline in production in 2012-13.

            Tapioca is another important food crop of Kerala which was popularized as a cereal substitute towards the end of 19th century itself in the State. The role of cassava in the food security of the state is even more prominent today with ever declining area and production under rice. The tapioca crop occupied 12.59 per cent of the net sown area of the State in 1960-61 and the area expanded to 13.62 per cent of the net sown area in the next decade. However the area started declining from 1990-91 onwards and dropped down to 3.39 per cent of the net sown area by 2012-13. 

 

            About six decades back pulses occupied a prominence in the cropping system of the State. In 1960-61, it was cultivated in an area of 44120 ha with a production of 17550 tons though the productivity was low ( 398 Kg/ha). By 2000-01, the pulse area in the State drastically declined to less than 1/6th of its area in 1960-61which amounts to 0.32 per cent of net sown area. By 2012-13, the pulse area in the State has dropped down to 0.14 per cent of the net sown area  though there was definite productivity enhancement.

 

Cropwise Analysis

 

Rice: In order to increase food production in the state, a major food security project was launched in 2008-09 covering rice, milk and egg. As part of the project, regional subprojects were launched with additional incentives, interest free loans, project based support for fallow land cultivation and a package of support measures. The procurement price was also enhanced to Rs.13 per kg and further to Rs.15 per kg. A modernization programme for lift irrigation was also initiated as part of the food security project and Malabar Package. A rehabilitation project on ponds was also initiated recently, as part of state food security project. From 2008-09 to 2009-10, area under paddy remain constant as 2.34 lakh ha.During 2010-11, the area under rice declined to 2.13 lakh ha and the production of rice also declined to 5.22 lakh MT from 5.98 lakh MT in 2009-10.

   

                    The average annual decline in area under rice during the Eighth Five Year Plan was around 22000 ha, whereas it has come down to an average of 13000 ha. during the Ninth Plan period. The average annual reduction in area during Tenth Plan was 9398 ha. During 2007- 08, decline in area was to the tune of 34591 ha. from 2.64 lakh ha. in 2006-07 to 2.29 lakh ha and rice production declined from 6.42 lakh MT to 5.28 lakh MT, and then increased to 5.90 lakh MT in 2008-09, indicating a 11.74 percent increase over the previous year. The area under rice increased to 2.34 lakh ha in 2008-09. During 2009-10, there was a slight reduction in area by 252 ha only over 2008-09, while production increased by 8098 MT. The deviation in area and production of rice in the major districts of Kerala during 2009-10 over 2008-09 (%) is shown in Figure 1. The average productivity which was stagnant at around 2.2 MT/ha for four years till 2005-06 has improved to 2.4 t/ha in 2006-07 and slightly declined to 2.31 t in 2007-08 and further improved to 2.56 t in 2009-10. Increase in area under paddy has been recorded in Kottayam (4523 ha), Palakkad (4332ha) and Wayanad (249 ha) while the corresponding increase in production are 7258 mT, 26087 mT and 1782 mT respectively during 2009-10. Rice productivity at current level is sub optimal. Instead of providing area based subsidies, suitably designed incentive system is essential to promote productivity by exploiting the potential of agro ecological zones. 

Figure1: Deviation in area and production of rice in the major districts of Kerala during 2009-10 over 2008-09 (%) 

 

                     The area and production of paddy in the state since the last 50 years is given in Figure 2. Though there were notable area enhancement till the beginning of 1980’s the area is under constant decline since then. A slight area enhancement was noticed during 2008-09 compared to 2007-08 wherein the lowest area under rice was recorded since past 50 years. A slight reduction in area is recorded in 2009-10. The maximum area under rice of 8.81 lakh ha was in 1974-75 with a production of 13.34 lakh tonnes. In the production scenario, early periods indicated production enhancement. However production showed declining trends since 1983 and the lowest production was recorded during 2007-08. The year 2008-09 and 2009-10 present a solace by showing a slight production enhancement of rice in the state.

Figure 2: Area and production of paddy in Kerala (1960-61 to 2009-10)

    

 

             The production in 2010-11 is expected to increase further. Additional support was also provided for upland rice cultivation in potential areas for the first time in 2009-10. A special scheme as part of food security project for 36 crores was also launched in 2009-10 and consolidated in 2010-11 for the development of rice in the state. The conversion of paddy lands for other purposes was also stopped from 2009-10 as a result of the Kerala Paddy Land – Wet Land Conservation Act, 2008 passed by the state.  A State level project has to be prepared for the promotion of rice production by linking the schemes of Department of Agriculture, local governments and Kudumbashree. Padasekharam based action plans have to be prepared linking with credit, input support, water management, insurance, procurement and supplementary income sources. Panchayat wise targets could be fixed in potential areas for convergence, with the plan of the local governments. The project should also cover total crop insurance and total procurement. Development of local water resources and lift irrigation schemes also could be integrated in the project. Separate targets could be fixed for different potential areas like kole lands, Kuttanad, Palakkad etc. A package also could be considered for promoting upland rice including development of suitable rice varieties.

 

               During 2011-12, the area under rice declined by 5027 ha, but the production has increased by 0.5 lakh MT. The production is increased due to increase in productivity. The productivity increased to the tune of 11.5 percent. The upland rice development was implemented in 6539.06 ha and fallow land cultivation in another 731.7 ha. Reorganization of rice development scheme with focus on potential areas covering regional targets and technology package is essential with effective procurement operation. The national target for the food grain production has been fixed at 245.00 million tonnes for 2011-12. The production of food grains during the period is estimated at 259.3 million tonnes compared to 244.8 million tonnes in 2010-11. Rice production in the country is estimated at 92.8 million tonnes.  Area and Production of Rice in Major Districts of Kerala during 2011-12 over 2010-11 is shown below.

 

 

                             The area under rice has been declining consistently over the last several years. After a long period of continuous decline, area under rice increased from 2.29 lakh ha in 2007-08 to 2.34 lakh ha in 2008-09 but it sharply declined by 20828 ha in 2010-11 period over to the previous year. During 2011-12, the area under rice declined by 5027 ha, but the production increased by 0.5 lakh MT. The upland rice development was implemented in 6539.06 ha and fallow land cultivation in another 731.7 ha. In 2012-13,there was a 5.2 percent decline in area under rice while the production declined by 10.6 percent. District wise analysis shows that all the major rice producing districts recorded a decline in area as well as production except Thrissur and Wayanad., the most prominent of them being that of Ernakulam which recorded a 49 per cent decline in area and 48 per cent decline in production. The  districtwise area, production and productivity of rice in Kerala during 2012-13 are shown here . 

 

Coconut:  Coconut based farming is the main stay of farmers of the State with a coverage of 8.2 lakh ha which occupies 40.2 per cent of the net cropped area. During 2010-11, area and production of coconut in the State were declined by 1.2 percent and 6.7 percent respectively. In 2011-12, the situation has improved with 6.6 percent expansion of area and 12.4 percent upsurge in production over the previous year. The productivity levels of coconut in Kerala also improved (5.5%) significantly, but is still lower than in other southern states.  The area, production and productivity of coconut in major states of India (2011-12) are given below.

 

During 2012-13, a decline of 2.3 percent was marked in the production of coconut in Kerala over the previous year. The productivity of coconut in Kerala also declined slightly. Area, production and productivity of coconut in Kerala as well as India are given here .

 

Pepper:  According to International Pepper Community (IPC) world pepper production in 2010 has declined by 0.71 percent to 316380 mT. For 2011, IPC has projected a lower production level of 309952mT. The productivity of pepper achieved its peak level of 376 kg. per ha during 1998-99. The productivity of pepper recorded during 2009-10 was only 221 kg, per ha. The production declined from 41952 MT during 2007-08 to 40641 MT in 2008-09 and 37899 MT in 2009-10. Pepper produced in Kerala fetches a premium price in international market in view of its intrinsic quality. The revival of pepper cultivation in the state has to be given priority considering the declining trend in production, disease incidence as well as the damages caused to the Erythrina Standards. A major pepper rehabilitation package has been initiated in Wayanad. Spices Board also started supporting pepper production programmes in Wayanad and Idukki districts.

       

  However consequent to the liberalisation of imports, there are reports of low quality pepper imported from other producing countries. The import of pepper has increased from 5839 MT in 2000 to 13120 MT in 2008 affecting the interests of pepper farmers of the State. The new Indo Asean FTA is expected to further deleteriously affect pepper farmers in the state. Government of India should build in adequate safety mechanism and monitoring system to see that the issue of certification of origin and the condition relating to origin of the goods are not violated. India could export 42806 MT of pepper in 1999-00, which declined to 25250 MT in 2008-09 which further declined to 19750 MT in 2009-10. The value realization was at 313.92 crores in 2009-10 which declined from  413.74 crores in 2008-09 and unit value realization has also declined to 158.94 per kg from  163.86 per kg. respectively in the corresponding period. 

        

Price of pepper moved consistently upwards from early nineties and reached a peak level in 1999-00 with 215 per kg. Since then declined to 174 per kg. in 2000-01, further down to 80 per kg. in 2001-02 and increased slightly to 114.76/kg. in 2008-09 and further increased to  134.82/ kg in 2009-10. The recent upsurge in prices indicate the revival of pepper prices to the 1999-00 levels.

 

        In Kerala, the area under pepper is estimated at 0.85 lakh ha and production at 0.38 lakh MT during 2011-12. It is noted that the production has declined by 16.1 percent in the respective period caused by erratic weather condition in growing regions and also on account of structural issues. Insect pest problem of erythrina (standard), weather viability, absence of alternate standards, poor productivity, fluctuating prices etc. compounded the declining production. The domestic price of pepper shows an upward trend from the mid of twenties and reached to Rs. 418.58 per kg in October 2012 and further declined in Rs. 378.04 per kg. in February 2013. Revitalization of pepper is essential for improving the livelihood of farmers. A convergence approach is to be followed for implementing schemes by the Spices Board, State Horticulture Mission and the Department of Agriculture. Reorientation of pepper development scheme is required to regain the supremacy of the crop covering technology and market support, revival of pepper samithies, good quality planting materials and promotion of alternate standards.

          During 2011-12, in India a total quantity of 26,700 tonnes of pepper valued Rs. 878.13 crore have been exported as against 18,850 tonnes valued Rs. 383.18 crore in the last year. Pepper production in India during 2011-12 is estimated at 48 thousand tonnes. This stagnant nature of pepper production in recent years is mainly due to low productivity and disease affected pepper gardens. World pepper production during 2011-12 was estimated at 298.4 thousand tonnes compared to 329.7 thousand tonnes in 2010-11 period which shows a decline of 31.3 thousand tonnes. Vietnam holds the first position with 33.5 percent share of world pepper production and where India contribute 16.1 percent share with 2nd rank.

 

 

In Kerala, area under pepper cultivation has declined from 0.85 lakh ha in 2011-12 to 0.84 lakh ha in 2012-13. Meanwhile, there has been increase in production of 8797 MT. The methodology of estimation of area under pepper has been revised by the department of Economic & Statistics from 2011-12 resulting in a downward revision of area under pepper, which added to the higher level of productivity estimates of pepper.

 

Cashew: Area under the crop in Kerala, has been declining steadily from 1.25 lakh ha. in 1988- 89 to 0.49 lakh ha. in 2009-10 and the production declined from 1.08 lakh MT to 0.36 lakh MT during the period and is shown below. The share of Kerala in the area under cashew in the country has come down from 23 percent in 1987-88 to 5.30 percent in 2009-10 and the corresponding decline in share of production from 31 percent to 5.95 percent. Area and production are increasing steadily in other producing states in the country. Maharashtra is the leading producer with 32.30 percent share in production during 2008-09, whose share was only 10 percent in 1990-91. 

  

             In spite of operating special schemes for expansion of area under cashew, the coverage has been steadily declining during the last two decades. The decline in area from 1980-81 to 2008-09 was to the tune of 88395 ha. During 2009-10, there was a further decline of 3903 ha under cashew in the state. Productivity of the crop, which was around 900 kg. per ha. During late eighties has also started declining from 1995-96 onwards, reaching 562 kg. per ha. During 1998-99 and thereafter hovering around 800 kg. In 2009-10, it has declined to 744 kg/ha. India exported cashew kernels worth 2905.82 crore during 2009-10 and imported raw nuts worth Rs.3037.35 crore resulting in a net foreign exchange loss of  131.53 crore. During 2009-10, there was a decline of 1.28 percent in quantity exported while 24.27 percent increase in quantity of raw nuts imported compared to previous year. U.S.A. is the major export market with 28 percent export share followed by UAE (16.8 percent). The total raw nuts imported into India during 2009-10 was 7.53 lakh MT. Around 35 percent of total raw nuts imported is from Ivory Cost followed by Guinea Bissau (15 percent). Tanzania has emerged as another supplier of raw cashew nuts with a share of 10 percent of total imports. The unit import price for raw cashew nut was 43.45/kg during 2008-09 as against 28.83/kg during the previous year. Out of imported nuts 57 percent of imported raw nuts is bought to Kerala during 2008-09 which was 46 percent in 1998-99. Cashew processing industry is finding it extremely difficult even to maintain the present level of capacity utilization because of the lower availability of local raw cashew nuts. Concerted efforts are needed to nurture this crop in the state with programmes to promote high density planting with high yielding cashew grafts. The initiatives of the Horticulture Mission to promote cashew cultivation needs to be upscaled with the involvement of the department of agriculture to promote cashew in potential areas.

 

Area under the crop in Kerala, has been declining steadily from 1.25 lakh ha. in 1988-89 to 0.44 lakh ha. in 2010-11. During 2011-12, there is 23.3 percentage increase in the area (0.54 lakh ha) and the production also surged to 0.37 lakh MT from 0.35 lakh MT in 2010-11. The share of Kerala in the area under cashew in the country has come down from 23 per cent in 1987-88 to 5.4 percent in 2011-12 and the corresponding decline in share of production is from 31 percent to 5.3 percent. Area and production are increasing steadily in other producing states in the country. Even though the major share of area under cashew comes from Andhra Pradesh (19.5%), Maharashtra is the leading producer with 32.2 percent share in production during 2011-12; Maharashtra’s share was only 10 per cent in 1990-91. Kerala holds 4th  position in cashew production.

 

In spite of operating special schemes for expansion of area under cashew, the coverage has been steadily declining during the last two decades except in 2011-12. Productivity of the crop, which was around 900 kg.per ha. during late eighties has also started declining from 1995-96 onwards, reaching 562 kg. per ha. during 1998-99 and thereafter hovering around 800 kg. In 2011-12, it further declined by 14 percent (680 kg. per ha) over the previous year. Details are given below.

Kerala has a substantial share in the four plantation crops of rubber, tea, coffee and cardamom. These four crops together occupy 7.02 lakh ha, accounting for 34.4 percent of the net cropped area in the state. Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber is 87.3 percent, cardamom 79 percent, coffee 22 percent and 7 percent in tea during the year 2011-12.

 

India continued to be the largest producer of raw cashew nuts in the world, with production of cashew nuts increasing from 6.92 lakh MT in 2011-12 to 7.28 lakh MT in 2012-13.The area under cashew cultivation declined from 9.91 lakh hectares to 9.82 lakh hectares in the respective years. On the contrary in Kerala in the last one decade, there has been a continuous and considerable decline in both area under cultivation as well as production of cashew. Its alarming to note that the production which stood at 60 thousand MT in 2004-05 declined to 37.9 thousand MT in 2012-13. while area dwindled from 81 thousand hectares to 52 thousand hectares Productivity of the crop which was around 900 kg per hectare during the late eighties also dwindled to 730 kg per hectare.The details are given here . Area and production are increasing steadily in other producing states in the country. Eventhough the major share of area under cashew comes from Andhra Pradesh (19.5 percent), Maharashtra is the leading producer with 32.2 percent share in production during 2011-12, whose share was only 10 percent in 1990-91. Kerala holds 4th  position in this regard.

 

Rubber: India is the fourth largest producer of natural rubber with a share of eight percent in the world after Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. The production of natural rubber in the country was 8.31 lakh MT in 2009-10, registering a 3.8 percent decline compared to the previous year. India is at the same time the second largest consumer of natural rubber after China. A 34 percent decline in the consumption of USA was recorded in 2009 over 2008 while consumption in China and India increased by 17.70 percent and 2.70 percent respectively. Kerala accounts for 78 percent of the area under rubber in the country. The coverage under the crop in 2009-10 was 5.25 lakh ha, higher by 7933 ha. over the previous year. The production of natural rubber in Kerala during the year was 7.45 lakh tonnes indicating a 4.85 percent decline over the previous year. The increasing trend in productivity continued during 2008-09. It was 1190 kg. per ha in 1998-99, which rose to 1514 kg during 2008-09. However it declined slightly to 1419 kg/ha in 2009-10. In terms of tapping area, productivity recorded was 1867 kg. per ha during the year 2008-09 which declined to 1784 kg/ha in 2009-10. The total quantity imported was 86394 MT which slightly declined to 77616 MT in 2008-09. The import increased to 176756 MT in 2009-10. The higher prices in the international market is reflected in the domestic market also. The average price of RSS4 in the domestic market at Kottayam was 114.98 per kg. in 2009-10. The international price of RSS3, equivalent of RSS4 of India, was 111.13 in the corresponding period. The price of  RSS4 in Kottayam reached 137.82 during August 2008 and then declined to 64.88 in October 2008 and further increased to 108.98 in October 2009 and 149.48 in March 2010.

 

In Kerala the coverage under the crop in 2011-12 was 5.39 lakh ha, higher by 5335 ha. over the previous year. The production of natural rubber in Kerala during the period was 7.89 lakh tonnes indicating 2.4 percent increase over the previous year. In 2011-12, the productivity increased slightly to 1462 Kg/ha from 1442 Kg/ha in 2010-11. 87.3 percent of total rubber production in the country was from Kerala in the current year of 2011-12. The production of natural rubber in the country was 9.04 lakh tonnes in 2011-12, registering a 4.9 percent increase compared to 2010-11. The growth in production was attributed by favourable climate and attractive price. India continued to be in the first position in the world in productivity during 2011-12 also which increased to 1841 kg/ ha from 1806 kg/ha during 2010-11 in terms of yielding area. The total consumption of natural rubber in 2011-12 was 9.64 lakh tonnes with a growth of 1.8 percent as against 9.47 lakh tonnes during 2010-11. The import of Natural Rubber in the country up surged to 2.14 lakh tonnes in 2011-12 from 1.90 lakh tonnes in 2010-11. While export of Natural Rubber during 2011-12 declined to 27145 tonnes from 29851 tonnes in the previous year.

 

The production of natural rubber in the country was 9.14 lakh tones in 2012-13, marginally up by 10 thousand tonnes from 9.04 lakh tonnes produced in the previous year. The increase in production during 2012-13 , despite a fall in the average yield, was contributed by the expansion of yielding area to 504,000 hectares in during the year from 490,870 hectares in the previous year. The average yield, measured in terms of the production per hectare of yielding area, declined to 1813kg during the year from 1841 kg in the previous year due to adverse climate coupled with farmer’s short run responses to fall in prices. Low rubber prices often compel farmers to reduce frequency of tapping and application of inputs. The total consumption of natural rubber in 2012-13 was 9.72 lakhtonnes with a growth of 0.8 per cent as against 9.64 lakh tones during 2010-11.

 

 Coffee:The area under coffee in Kerala was 0.85 lakh ha out of 3.99 lakh ha in the country during 2009-10, which works out to 21 percent. The share of Kerala in production is 20.5 percent during 2009-10. Major variety grown in Kerala is Robusta with a share of 95 percent in planted area. Production of coffee during the year was only 0.59 lakh MT against 2.90 lakh MT for the country. Productivity of the crop in terms of bearing area in Kerala (705 kg/ha) is lower than the national level of 826 kg/ha. Area under coffee registered substantial increase during the last two decades with an annual growth rate of over 2 percent. The increase in production recorded during the period was much higher and registered an annual average growth rate of nearly nine percent. Coffee provides opportunities for livelihood to nearly one lakh families including agricultural labourers. In Kerala, coffee is also one of the small holder plantation crops with nearly 76,000 holdings coming under the category with an average size of 1.1 ha. Consumption of coffee has remained more or less static at around 55,000 tonnes for the past one and half decades till 1999 and then slightly improved to 70,000 tonnes in 2003, and further to 1 lakh tonnes in 2009.

   

  Coffee is a highly export dependent crop and more than 80 percent of domestic production is exported. The unit value realization has declined drastically from Rs.95.37 per kg. in 1997-98 to Rs.106.08 per kg in 2009-10. The quantity of coffee exported from India declined in 2009-10 to 2.04 lakh tonnes from 2.18 lakh tonnes in 2007-08 and slightly improved in 2008-09. To mitigate the problems of coffee growers arising from the low prices of coffee, a series of steps have been taken including the restructuring of loans and interest relief to coffee growers (a subsidy of 5 percent for small growers and 3 percent for large growers is available for working capital). Rainfall insurance as a risk management support for coffee growers in collaboration with AIC is also implemented. Government of India has approved in June 2010 the coffee debt relief package 2010 for the debt ridden small coffee growers with a total financial implication of Rs. 241.33 crores. It is in the early stage of implementation.

       

The area under coffee in Kerala was 0.84 lakh ha out of 4.09 lakh ha in the country during 2011-12, which works out to around 21 percent. The percentage share of area under coffee is highest in Karnataka (56.1%). The share of Kerala in production is around 22 percent during 2011-12. Major variety grown in Kerala is Robusta with a share of 97.1 percent in planted area. Production of coffee during the year was only 0.68 lakh MT against 3.14 lakh MT for the country. Productivity of the crop in terms of bearing area in Kerala is 808 kg/ha which is lower than the national level of 852 kg/ha during 2011-12. Even though the area under coffee registered a slight decline during the period, the production has recorded 3.8 percent increase as against the previous year. Domestic coffee production for the year 2011-12 is more than 0.12 lakh tonnes compared to the previous year. Among the States, Kerala stands next to Karnataka which produces 70.4 percent of total coffee production

 

Domestic coffee production for the year 2012-13 was estimated at 315.5 thousand tonnes (post monsoon estimates) which represents an increase of 1.5 thousand tonnes compared to previous year. This meant that the domestic production for the second consecutive year has crossed the record highest. The area under coffee planting and bearing in India has shown an upward trend due to the expansion of cultivation in non-traditional areas. This suggests that the growth in production was on account of area increase rather than productivity increase.

            The area under coffee in Kerala was 0.84 lakh ha out of 4.09 lakh ha in the country during 2011-12, which works out to around 21 percent. The percentage share of area under coffee is highest in Karnataka ( 56.1 percent). The share of Kerala in production is around 22 percent during 2011-12. Major variety grown in Kerala is Robusta with a share of 97.1 percent in planted area. Production of coffee during the year was only 0.68 lakh MT against 3.14 lakh MT for the country. Productivity of the crop in terms of bearing area in Kerala is 808 kg/ha which is lower than the national level of 852 kg/ha during 2011-12. Even though the area under coffee registered a slight decline during the period, the production has recorded 3.8 percent increase as against the previous year.Among the States, Kerala stands next to Karnataka which produces 70.4 percent of total coffee production.

 

Tea:  Against the total area of 5.11 lakh ha under tea in the country Kerala accounts for only 0.37 lakh ha. In respect of production the share of Kerala is 6.6 percent in 2007. Tea plantations owned by big companies employ a labour force of over 84,000 in the organized sector. There is fluctuation in production and it ranged from 64.8 M. kgs. in 1995-96, reaching to 69.1 M.kgs. in 2000-01 which declined to 56 M kgs. in 2007 and improved to 57.81 M kg in 2009. Imports increased from 13.4 M. kg. in 2000 to 20.28 M kg. in 2009. However during 2003 the import declined substantially to 9.8 M. kgs. The maximum quantity of tea was imported from Nepal (31 percent), followed by Vietnam (25 percent) and Indonesia (11 percent). The unit value of imported tea was the lowest from Vietnam (Rs.53/kg) while the average being Rs.62/kg. The disturbing fact is that most of the countries are exporting to India at low prices. The average price of tea in 2007-08 was Rs.67.3 per kg which increased to Rs.110.30 in 2008-09 and declined slightly to Rs.107.81 in 2009-10. Productivity of Tea in India is much lower than that in Vietnam. The organic tea production is a major shift in this sector. (eg. Darjeeling tea). In Kerala coverage under organic tea could be increased . Government of India has set up a special purpose Tea Fund for funding replantation and rejuvenation aimed at improving the age profile of tea plantation with an estimated outlay of Rs.567.10 crores during Eleventh Five Year Plan. The estimated area to be taken up for replantation/ rejuvenation during the period would be 85044 ha in the country. 

 

 

         Against the total area of 5.8 lakh ha under tea in the country Kerala accounts for only 0.37 lakh ha 2011-12. Area under South India is estimated as 1.2 lakh ha in the period. In respect of total production of tea in India, the share of Kerala is 6.9 percent in 2011-12. There is a slight increase in production of tea in Kerala and it ranged from 0.57 lakh MT in 2010-11 to 0.58 lakh MT in 2011-12.

 

Kerala accounts for 6 percent of the area and 5.4 percent of the total domestic production of tea in the country and it has been consistently falling for the last three years. There was some respite from this in 2012-13 as tea production recorded an increase of 5059 MT as compared to the previous year despite a decline in area of 18 percent from the previous year.


Cardomom:  Productivity which was more or less stagnant around 50 kg./ha. in the 1980s has improved to the level of around 203 kg. per ha by 2001 and increased slightly to 206 kg/ha in 2008-09 and declined to 188 kg/ha in 2009-10. The share of Kerala in production at the All India level increased from 28 percent in 1992-93 to 56 percent in 2008-09. While area under cardamom in the country has declined from 0.97 lakh ha to 0.73 lakh ha. in the period, in Kerala it has come down from 65,000 ha to 41593 ha. On the export front cardamom has been facing competition from Guatemala although the quality of Guatemala cardamom is inferior. The country could tide over the challenge by expanding domestic market through market promotion. The average price during 2000-01 was Rs.570 per kg. which is declined to Rs. 463.14 in 2007-08 and improved to Rs.506.44 in 2008-09 and Rs.800.08 in 2009-10. The Indian export of cardamom has increased from early nineties and reached a peak level of 1545 MT in 2000-01 and then increased by 27.8 percent in 2009-10 to reach 1975 MT. The unit price of exported Cardamom increased steadily to Rs.838 per kg. in 2009-10 from Rs.630 per kg. in 2008-09. However the market for cardamom is largely domestic as could be seen from the declining share of exports and the share of exports is only 5 percent of the production. 

 

   
 

 

Kerala accounted for a major share (78.8% ) in the total cardamom production in the country. Karnataka and Tamilnadu contributed 14.7 percent and 6.5 percent share respectively. In Kerala, the area under cardamom is 0.42 lakh ha comprising 59.2 percent of total area of crop in the country during 2011-12. The production has increased from 0.08 lakh MT to 0.10 lakh MT in the respective year. During 2011-12, India produced 12.98 thousand tonnes of Cardamom with an increase of 2.60 thousand tonnes compared to 10.38 thousand tonnes in the last year. Area under cardamom in the country is 0.71 lakh ha during this period.

 

Cardamom production in the country during 2012-13 was estimated at 12.42 thousand tons compared to 15 thousand tonnes in 2011-12, a decline of 2.58 thousand tonnes. The improvement in cardamom prices since 2006-07 continued till 2010-11 but the price started falling since then and had reached Rs. 645.04 per kg during 2011-12. The increasing trend could not be sustained and price fell to Rs. 323.30 per kg in 2011-12. During the current season there was marginal improvement in price realization with prices increasing by Rs. 67.18 during 2012-13 to reach Rs. 703.03 per kg.

Trend in Area, Production and Productivity of Crops and Performance

 

             In Kerala total food grain production reached to 0.6 lakh MT during the respective year Data regarding the area, production and productivity of important crops grown in Kerala are shown in the Table below. Out of a gross cropped area of 26.6 lakh ha. in 2011-12, food crops comprising rice, pulses and tapioca occupy 10.8 percent. Kerala state which had a low base in food production is facing serious challenges in retaining even this meager area. Kerala agricultural economy is undergoing structural transformation from the mid seventies by switching over a large proportion of its traditional crop area which was devoted to subsistence crops like rice and tapioca to more remunerative crops like banana and plantations.

 

Area, Production and Productivity of Principal Crops

Sl. No

Crops

Area (Ha)

Production (MT)

Productivity (Kg/ha)

2010-11

2011-12

2010-11

2011-12

2010-11

2011-12

1

Rice

213187

208160

522738

568993

2452

2733

2

Jowar

2208

280

1128

219

511

782

3

Ragi

263

248

212

262

806

1056

4

Other Cereals

243

188

187

145

770

771

5

Pulses

3824

3668

2908

3128

760

853

6

Sugarcane

2845

2604

27184

26303

9555

10101

7

Pepper

172182

85335

45267

37989

263

445

8

Chilies

1393

1322

1348

1283

968

970

9

Ginger

6088

6908

33197

37130

5453

5375

10

Turmeric

2391

2970

6198

7946

2592

2675

11

Cardamom

41242

41600

7935

10222

192

246

12

Arecanut

99834

104548

99909

121623

1001

1163

13

Banana

58671

59069

483667

514054

8244

8703

14

Other Plantains

49129

48747

353772

330634

7201

6783

15

Cashew nut

43848

54052

34752

36743

793

680

16

Tapioca

72284

74498

2408962

2567953

33326

34470

17

Sweet Potato

312

247

4887

4159

15663

16838

18

Groundnut

1503

1712

1867

2152

1242

1257

19

Sesamum

519

197

228

76

439

386

20

Coconut *

770473

820867

5287

5941

6862

7237

21

Cotton

501

400

731

640

1459

1600

22

Tobacco

27

21

48

37

1778

1762

23

Coffee

84931

84413

65650

68175

773

808

24

Tea

36965

37028

57291

57903

1550

1564

25

Rubber

534230

539565

770580

788940

1442

1462

 

 

 

Source: DES

* Production of coconut in million nu