Low rubber prices, rains dampen Christmas in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 19 (IANS) The plunging price of rubber and rains have taken a toll on the Christmas celebrations in the state where rubber is considered the major cash crop.

Last year, rubber price prevailed above Rs.125 a kg, currently it is priced at its lowest levels around Rs.80-Rs.100.

Farmers sell rubber either as a sheet which fetches around Rs.100 a kg, while those who sell it in latex form get paid about Rs.80.

“Price of essential commodities have skyrocketed like never before and adding to our woes is that rubber prices are at the lowest ever in recent years. This Christmas things are not rosy,” said Ninan Jacob, a homestead rubber farmer in Kottayam.

Another factor which has dampened spirits are the torrential rains.

“The frequent rains appear to have taken away the chill that was witnessed in the previous years. This time, even the normal bonfires seen in most homes in the central districts of the state are yet to surface, as there is no chill at all,” said Jessy Abraham, a home maker from Thiruvalla.

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