Adopt a cooperative model for the plantation industry.

Praveen S
Sunday, February 27, 2022

The plantation industry has had a difficult time in recent years due to a number of challenges. This is primarily due to the epidemic, which has wreaked havoc on the working environment. Because of the increased cost of fertilisers, there has been a significant increase in production expenses. Due to the interruption of supply chains, increased freight and input prices, and a shortage of vital commodities, the pandemic has resulted in escalating expenses. It has also resulted in lower demand at home and abroad, as well as increasing and unregulated imports.

Climate change is another big issue that the plantation industry must deal with. From June to December, heavy monsoons and floods without sunshine harmed agricultural productivity, and the high rise in temperature, along with large diurnal (difference between highest and minimum temperature recorded in a day) changes, further harmed output.

Plantations rely heavily on human labour, and rising labour prices are another another hurdle they must overcome. Mono-cropping (growing a single crop year after year on the same land) is currently being practised in plantations, which is posing a problem for them because it degrades the soil and reduces product diversity.

Therefore, to summarise increase in production costs due to rise in input costs, labour costs; decline in demand due to Covid; climate change and mono-cropping are the main challenges faced by the plantation sector. Most plantations were already losing money owing to rising costs even before the Covid. In addition, the poor working and living conditions of the workers had gotten a lot of attention.

The moment has come for most plantations to become cooperative. Because the owners can no longer generate money owing to rising prices, it makes more logical to give labour organisations more control over the plantations and reap the benefits. Because of the enhanced sense of ownership among cooperative members, plantation output should grow. Cooperatives will also have greater resources to spend on improving their working conditions. In conclusion, co-operative can benefit all stakeholders by lowering expenses and increasing productivity for farms, managing present losses for owners, and improving working conditions for labourers.