Growers seek open market facility to sell pepper

Growers seek open market facility to sell pepper

In a meeting held at Nanjamma Kalyana Mantapa on Tuesday, Palaksha, a coffee grower,  said that if the pepper growers get an opportunity to sell the crop in an open market, then it would be possible for them to get good price for the crops grown.

“Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) which has been constantly saying that it is in favour of the farmers, has always imposed tax on pepper. The traders have shifted the burden of tax on the growers. If the arrangement is made for an open market, then the growers would definitely get Rs 10- Rs 20 hike in the market price for one kilogram of pepper,” he said.Pointing at the misappropriation in APMC, Coffee Board former members B D Manjunath said that APMC members say that they collect Rs 2.50 crore annually by imposing Rs 1.50 for the pepper crop in Kodagu. But in reality, they collect Rs 10 crore, then where does the rest of the money go? he questioned.

He came down heavily against the discrimination met by the pepper growers in Kodagu district.

There is a huge lobby which is working behind curtailing pepper growers in Kodagu receiving the special package. A wrong publicity has led the pepper growers in Kerala receive the huge amount of special packages, he alleged.

He urged the growers to hold a fight to eliminate the mediators like APMC by setting up open market system.

Touching upon the problems faced by the coffee growers, Manjunath said like all other business, even coffee business is facing labour problem.

“The coffee growers and the labourers are like the two faces of a coin. The coffee growers must give lucrative wage to the labourers and on the other hand should make them work for what they have been paid for. How can be the coffee plantations looked after well if the leasing of coffee, orrange and pepper produces are not being stopped?” he questioned.

Taluk Coffee Growers Association President B M Suresh in his presidential address asked all the growers to join their hands in the fight for justice.

The growers who do not involve in the fight, but readily wait to get the benefit must remove such mindset, he requested.Advocate B S Sudeep said the belief that coffee growers receive several benefits from different packages are far from truth.

The condition is such that only those growers who give commission to the officers get the subsidy, he lamented.