Cash crops like cotton, cashew, tobacco and tea which were the major source of income for the state and a living for a huge number of farmers in the state is facing crisis as the production of these crops has dropped alarmingly in the past 10 years.
A report on the agricultural sector by the Kerala State Statistics Department reveals that the production has dropped around 85 per cent. The cotton farming spread to 3,760 hectares in 2001-2002 period dwindled to 501 hectares in the year 2010-2011.
The production of cotton 10 years ago was as much as 6,069 tonnes, and now the state produces only 732 tonnes of cotton.
The tobacco production has plunged by 88 per cent. The district produces 80 per cent of tobacco in the state. Gone are the days when buyers used to come to Kasargod for the best quality tobacco.
The production during last year was a meagre 48 tonnes, against the 395 tonnes of tobacco production in 2001-2002 period.
The production of cashew was also reduced to 47 per cent as per the data available with the Statistics Department. It also shows that the production of tea and pepper has also gone down.
The leading crop in the state, according to the report, is Rubber. The rubber production which was 5,80350 tonnes in 2001-2002 period went upto 7,70580 tonnes in 2011.