As farmers cope with plummeting income from natural rubber, coffee has turned out to be a choice crop, holding out promise of supplementing income as well as maximum utilisation of land area.
Most farmers are not entirely abandoning rubber cultivation, but they are now more and more taking up alternative crops as a measure to ensure that they survive these hard times, said Gibson George of Edakkattuvayal.
Mr. George has been through hard times as a farmer, cultivating vegetables, natural rubber, rice, and other crops. Of late, he has taken up coffee as an inter-crop along with a dozen others in his village. He feels that depending on rubber alone now will not mean much.
He said he had been trying out several other crops along with natural rubber and had been on the lookout for a crop that suited to the present climatic conditions.