Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Thursday admitted a plea seeking direction to the Centre to announce the minimum support price for natural rubber at the earliest.
The petition, which came up before Justice P B Suresh Kumar, has been posted for next hearing after three weeks.
Petitioners - K A Joseph, president of the Indian Rubber Dealers Federation, and two others - also wanted the Rubber Board to purchase rubber from the domestic market in consultation with the state government till the Centre fixes the MSP.
Another plea was to remove natural rubber from the list of industrial crop and classify it as an agricultural produce similar to that of cotton, jute and tobacco.
According to the petitioners, natural rubber is the only agricultural crop in India which is regulated by a central statute, as it is a strategic raw material.
Thus, the central government has an important role in deciding the fate of rubber cultivation, production and its disposal.
Small and marginal farmers constitute 91 per cent of the rubber growers in Kerala, it was stated.