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Palmyrah trees facing extinction in Kerala

Palmyrah trees are slowly disappearing from the landscape of Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad districts, the only districts where they grow in numbers in Kerala. Though the State Palmyrah Products Development and Workers Welfare Corporation make efforts to revive Palmyrah cultivation and products, strong economic factors are pushing the palms towards near extinction in Kerala.

Rubber, which gives good returns from the sixth year, is replacing the Palmyrah trees in Thiruvananthapuram district. (The palms need about 15 years to start yielding.) The palms are also dwindling in numbers in the nearby districts of Tamil Nadu where coconut and other crops are being preferred by the farmers. In Palakkad also, changing land use pushes out the Palmyrah. It is estimated that the number of palmyrah trees in the State would have come down by more than 60 per cent over the past two decades.

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