A delegation of coffee growers has demanded the Centre to implement schemes to revive the sector claiming that growers are facing number of challenges including price crash, fall in production and increasing cost of production.
During pre-budget meeting with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, and a delegation with members from Karnataka Growers Federation (KGF), Karnataka Planters Association (KPA) and Codagu Planters' Association (CPA) discussed long term measures to be taken up to revive the plantation sector.
The delegation was comprised of KGF President U M Thirthamallesh, Vice-president Nanda Belliyappa, KPA President Shreesh Vijeyendra, CPA President M C Kariyappa and Pradeep Pooviah and others.
Demanding the debt relief package to coffee growers, the delegation said large number of planters were in debt due low price, increasing production cost, drop in productivity due to consecutive drought and flood for the past few years.
Subvention of 6% on the short term and long term loans to be given to growers for the actual scale of finance in all banks, CIBIL should be kept out of agriculture finance and extending Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojane to coffee, growers demanded.
The planters also urged the Union Ministers to implement the joint task force set up by former Minister Suresh Prabhu for providing relief to planters for loss caused due to landslide and natural calamity.
The coffee growers demanded the removal of specific rule 7B(1), which has become a major hindrance for 98.8% of small coffee growers to take up value addition. The process involves is just milling and de-husking not amounting to change in form or intrinsic nature at any stage,” Murlidhar S Bakkaravalli, General Secretary, KGF said in a statement.
The delegation also requested the government to reduce GST rate for fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides and maintain the fertilizer subsidy level and price in the FY 2020-21 as in the year 2019-20.