New package puts areca growers in distress

Farmer Lainkaje Ramachandra said that the growers sought an economic package for growing alternative crops. The growers had urged the authorities to waive off the loan borrowed by the growers whose farms have been affected by Yellow Leaf Disease. The new scheme of the government has put arecanut growers in six villages of Sullia taluk to distress. Under the scheme, the government has released a sum of Rs 3.23 crore to Sullia taluk. However, owing to the rules, the farmers could not reap the benefit of the scheme.
The yellow leaf disease has hit arecanut plantations in Sampaje, Aranthod, Thodikana, Markanja, Aletti and Ubaradka villages as well. He said that it was not possible to rejuvenate disease-hit plantations as the disease affected newly planted saplings.
The scientists from CPCRI, Vittal, have been repeating the exercise of removing disease-hit palms and planting new saplings for the last several years and are not successful in it.
The scheme proposed sanctioning of a financial assistance of Rs 15,000 per hectare of land for removing the disease-hit palms, transporting them, and planting new saplings. A farmer was eligible to get assistance for a maximum of two hectares of land, he said. However, the scheme does not speak of compensation for those farmers who had availed loan from cooperative banks.

A meeting held under the chairmanship of MLA Angara and other departmental officers, decided to reject the package for yellow leaf disease affected palms. The MLA has directed the officials to simplify the rules as well. The meeting had decided to conduct a survey of the disease affected palms and assess the loss incurred by the farmers.

Though yellow leaf disease has affected arecanut palms in Sampaje, Chembu and Peraje of Kodagu, the government has not released any amount.

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