Waive loans of arecanut farmers: Puttannaiah
About 70 per cent of arecanut crop lost due to adverse weather, says farmer leader
MLA K S Puttannaiah demanded the State government to provide scientific compensation and waive loans of arecanut farmers in the State, here on Tuesday.
Addressing a press meet, he said that about 70 per cent of the crop grown by them has been lost due to adverse weather conditions, pushing the farmers into a financial crisis.
“Karnataka contributes 48 per cent of the total arecanut produce in the country. Owing to heavy rainfall and yellow leaf disease, arecanut farmers in Shimoga, Dakshina Kannada, Davangere, Tumkur, Udupi, Hassan and other districts of the State were in dire straits,” he said.
He said that the government must frame a policy for farmers growing cash crops, as there were no schemes for the financial security of such farmers, he said.
Attributing the arecanut crop loss to heavy rainfall, which was preceded by two seasons of drought, he sought the Central government to frame policies for losses due to heavy rainfall, faced by farmers.
Ravikiran Poonacha, representative of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) from Dakshina Kannada expressed concerns over the collapse in tobacco prices. “Price of arecanut in the market is only 25 per cent of the production cost,” he said.
He added that farmers in the region were ready to shift to alternate crops. “If the State government provides the support it had given for tobacco farmers to shift to alternative crops, we are ready for the shift,” he said.
In a release issued by KRRS, they demanded that loans of all tobacco farmers must be waived, farmers shifting to alternate crops be given a rehabilitation package of Rs 20 lakh per acre, and a Arecanut Development Board be set up, along the lines of coffee and rubber boards of the State.