Cardamom farmers from eight panchayats in Idukki district, under the banner of the Spices Planters’ Association (SPA), staged a dharna in protest against the sharp fall in cardamom prices, in front of the Spices Board office in Palarivattom here on Wednesday.
The farmers dumped about 60 kg of cardamom in front of the office.
The association claimed that about 3,500 farmers from Rajakkad, Rajakumari, Senapathy, Bison Valley, Santhanpara, Chinnakanal, Konnathady and Udumbanchola participated in the march.
Fr Sebastian Kochupura, chairman of the High Range Protection Council, inaugurated the dharna, which was presided over by SPA president V K Mathew.
Former MLA M V Mani, Cardamom Growers’ Association-Vandanmedu president K S Mathew, Babychan Thomas, Udayakumar and SPA general secretary M M Lambodharan also spoke.
The association members presented a memorandum demanding a hike in import duty of cardamom from 70 to 180 per cent and stabilisation of the price at Rs 1,500 a kg.
Lambodharan told ‘Express’ that the association intends to intensify the protest in the future, and if required, will stage a hartal in Idukki district.