Central govt releases ` 50 crore for coffee growers in State

The funds must be utilised by this month-end, say Coffee Board members

Addressing a press meet, Coffee Board members Nanda Belliappa and Chandramathi Ganesh said the amount released is to be distributed as financial assistance for the growers for the purchase of farm implements. If the growers make use of it, then they can solve 30 per cent of shortage of labourers problem.

They said if the growers are in need of equipment, then they can submit demand for the same through the association. The Coffee Board will discuss on the issue once in three months during its meeting.

“The change in the price of coffee has affected the coffee industry. The price of coffee is not on par with the international market. After Coffee Act 1994, the Coffee Board lost its hold over the price of coffee. The Coffee Board has already written a letter to the Centre to set right the loopholes in the Act,” said Belliappa.

“There is difference between the price of coffee in the international market and the price given by the agency while purchasing the coffee. In this background, the Coffee Board had started sending SMSes to members on the international price of coffee daily.
However, owing to technical problem, we were not getting the details on the price for the last few days. Now the Coffee Board technical staff has already started sending SMSes again,” said Chandramathi Ganesh.

Belliappa said “the implementation of coffee package is in its final stage. Some banks have not submitted their claims under the scheme. February 28 was the last date for submitting the claims to the Coffee Board. In the meantime, in a meeting, all the banks placed a request to extend the last date by a week to submit the claims.”

A total of Rs 250 crore claims have been submitted. The Coffee Board is in need of additional Rs 60 crore to Rs 70 crore. The Board has already written a letter to the government in this regard, he added.

There is no uniformity in the implementation of coffee package and loan waiver scheme under Vidharbha scheme or Prime Minister’s loan waiver scheme. In this background, all the banks have been directed to use a uniform guidelines, he added.

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