AGRICULTURE IN KERALA
Agriculture and allied sectors are the most crucial for the Kerala economy as they provide livelihood to approximately two-third of the population. The population pressure on land in Kerala is very high and has become shifted from the position of a resource for production to the level of an asset.
The salient features of the agricultural sector in Kerala are:
- Average holding size- 0.12 ha
- Predominance of small and marginal farmers (92%)
- Less area under food crops with low productivity
- Predominance of perennial and plantations crops like coconut, rubber, tea, coffee, cashew,pepper, spices etc.
- High cost of production mainly due to high labour cost
- Highly erratic monsoon rains
The distinct changes in the landforms, rainfall, soil, topography, ample sunshine and humidity are attributes for development of various cropping systems including homesteads and cultivation of a wide variety of crops like paddy, coconut, pulses, oilseeds, pepper, arecanut, cocoa, clove, banana, vegetables and mono crop plantations of rubber, tea, coffee, cardamom etc. Cool season fruits and vegetables are also cultivated in the high ranges