Minister for Law, Industries and Coir P. Rajeeve will inaugurate the second edition of the Kerala Plantation Expo this Saturday, initiating a chain of special business-to-business meets amid a grand showcase of the products and services in the sector.
The January 20-22 expo at in Kaloor seeks to catalyse the state’s measures towards the growth of its plantation sector by revealing its brand potential so as to tap the global and domestic demand for a whole range of the products and services, according to Plantation Directorate of the State Industries Department, which is organising the three-day event at the sprawling Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
While Shri Rajeeve will announce the expo open at 10.30 a.m., Shri Hibi Eden, MP, will be the Guest of Honour. Shri T.J. Vinod, MLA, will chair the ceremony which will have Mayor Shri M. Anil Kumar as the chief guest. Shri A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish, Principal Secretary (Industries), will deliver the keynote address at the function, which will be addressed by Ernakulam District Collector Shri N.S.K. Umesh, besides other top bureaucrats including Industries and Commerce Director Shri S. Harikishore, who is Special Officer, Plantation.
Others at the opening ceremony will be Coffee Board CEO and Secretary Shri K.G. Jagadeesha, Spices Board Secretary Shri D. Sathyan, Rubber Board Executive Director Shri M. Vasanthagesan and Tea Board Executive Director Shri M. Muthukumar. Also present will be Kochi Corporation Councillor Smt Deepthi Mary Varghese, Association of Planters (Kerala) Chairman Shri Prince Thomas George, Shri Thomas Cherian of Small and Medium Growers Association, Wayanad Coffee Growers Association President Shri Anoop Palukunnu, Ernakulam District Industries Centre General Manager Shri Najeeb P.A. and Carbon Neutral Coffee Park Special Officer Shri Jeeva Anandan. Industries Directorate Additional Director Dr K.S. Kripakumar will propose thanks.
The expo strives to reinstate the glory of Kerala’s storied plantation sector by featuring its history, diverse products including spices and industrial raw materials like rubber and more recent diversification into tourism and hospitality activities. Entry will be free. So is the allotment of stalls at the expo, which will be open from 9 a.m. till 11 p.m.
The event will feature stalls by Kerala-registered plantations, distributors of tools and equipment related to the sector, service providers and plantation institutions under the state and central governments. There will also be live demonstrations on all three days, enabling the public to get first-hand knowledge of the products and services in the sector.
The expo comes at a time when the Kerala government is weighing options on various upfront policy initiatives so as to tap the full potential of Kerala’s plantation sector, according to Minister Shri Rajeeve. The proposed measures include adopting multi-pronged strategies to enable optimal and sustainable utilisation of assets so as to create a valued brand of high-quality products. “This will enable us to tap the global demand,” he added.
The state has been making coordinated efforts, where stakeholders are being taken on board to further strengthen the crucial sector ever since the formation of a separate Plantation Directorate under the Department of Industries & Commerce in 2021, he noted. “This was done with a long-term vision aimed at scaling up the capacity of the plantation sector in a scientific, sustainable and inclusive manner by adopting policies and supportive measures.”
Shri Harikishore said Kerala is preparing a comprehensive plan to tap the “enormous potential” of the state’s plantation sector. “We are working, based on a set of initiatives that comprise financial support, incentives and skilling of farmers and workers,” he pointed out. “The mission is to revive the plantation sector by developing various support systems and proposing needed policies so as to help it grow to the next level,” he added.
The first edition of the Plantation Expo was held in Thiruvananthapuram in February 2023.