Coffee Board may conduct survey

Dist admin has not sent application to the board asking to ascertain loss of coffee harvest this year

Coffee beans which have been spoiled due to heavy rains.  DH photo

Coffee growers have been waiting for the compensation for the loss in coffee harvest incurred in 2007. Even this year, the coffee harvest has been lost due to the heavy rains which lashed the district few days ago. Though state government has released Rs 5 crore, district administration has so far not invited any applications from coffee growers for the compensation. Coffee Board is ready to conduct the survey if the district administration had forwarded the applications from the growers.

In 2007, as many as 10,496 growers had applied for the compensation. Coffee Board had conducted the survey with the help of additional staff with the technical support from revenue department. However, during the same year, coffee was included in National natural calamity compensation fund. Under this scheme, there is a provision to pay a compensation of Rs 6,000 per hectare for the growers owing below five acres if the harvest loss is 50 per cent. However, owing to the confusion, till today, growers could not get the compensation.

According to sources, compensation for the coffee harvest loss due to heavy rains must be paid under natural calamities fund. However, state government should send a detailed report on the coffee harvest loss to the Centre. The compensation will be paid based on the report.

Owing to the efforts of the district administration, Chikmagalur has received Rs 1.37 crore. However, in Kodagu district, the district administration is still busy in seeking clarifications.

In the meantime, the government has introduced ‘rainfall insurance scheme for coffee’ to cover the loss in coffee to the growers. The government has earmarked Rs 90 crore for the purpose for the next five years. Though the coffee board must have spent Rs 8 crore this year, owing to the poor response from the growers, the Board could not spend even Rs 1 crore. Under ‘‘rainfall insurance scheme for coffee’ growers should have submitted the application by July 31 seeking compensation. 50 per cent of insurance should be borne by the grower while remaining 50 per cent will be borne by the Coffee Board.
A senior grower said instead of pursuading the growers to stage protest, it is better for the organisations to create an awareness on the government programmes.

Coffee Board feels that if the district administration and government wards off the confusion prevailing, then the compensation for the loss incurred in 2007-08 will be released. A BJP leader said that the compensation for the loss in coffee harvest should be paid through Coffee Board.

However, Coffee Board feels that the compensation for the loss due to rainfall will be released to the State government. State government in turn will release the compensation amount based on the loss report to the district administration. In this regard, it is better if the compensation is paid through district administration. Amidst all these confusions, coffee growers are at risk.

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