18,353 applicants seek land inspection for crop loss

Coffee growers yet to get compensation for harvest loss in 2007

The decayed coffee beans.

Inspite of delay in the onset of monsoon, the heavy rains which lashed the district in the month of July have damaged the coffee harvest. District administration had given September 5 as deadline to submit application for the compensation for the loss. Accordingly, 18,353 growers have filed their application to Coffee Board seeking compensation. However, Coffe Board has sent a report to the government that it is the responsibility of the district administration and State government to distribute compensation.

As many as 7,959 applications have been submitted from South Kodagu, i.e., Virajpet, Siddapura, Srimangala, Gonikoppalu. 10,394 applications have been submitted from Madikeri, Somwarpet, Napoklu, Suntikoppa and Shanivarasanthe limits. Coffee Board has to submit the applications to revenue department to assess the loss. There is an opportunity to pay compensation of Rs 6,000 per hectare under Natural Calamity Fund or National Natural Calamity Compensation Fund if the loss is above 50 per cent.
In 2007, as many as 10,496 growers had filed their applications seeking compensation for the harvest loss. Coffe Board had submitted a report to the district administration stating that coffee is damaged in 13,450 hectare land. However, district administration had sought clarification from the State government on payment of compensation to commercial crops like coffee. State government in turn has written to Centre. Both district administration and State governments are expecting clarifications from the Centre. As a result, none of them have been given compensation for the last two years.
In the meantime, District-in-Charge Minister Krishna Palemar had assured to solve the problem by discussing the matter with the Chief Minister.

In Chikmgalaur, district administration has distributed compensation of Rs 1.37 crore to the coffee growers for the harvest loss. However, in Kodagu, the district administration is still waiting for the clarifications from the Centre.
As per the notification issued by the Central Home Ministry dated June 27, 2008, compensation can be paid to all the perennial crops. Accordingly, coffee, tea, rubber, pepper, orange come under the Natural Calamity compensation fund. However, the notification does not clearly mention perennial commercial crops like coffee.
According to experts, since coffee is a perennial crop, the compensation must be paid for the harvest loss. According to Natural Calamity Compensation Fund or National Natural Calamity Compensation Fund rule number 3 (e) (2) and 4, compensation can be paid to the loss of harvest of perennial crops.

However, Coffee Board has clarified that paying compensation is the responsibility of the government.
Every year, Centre pays huge amount to pay compensation to the State government. It is essential to pay compensation to the coffee growers. If the government solves the confusion, then coffee growers will get the compensation at the earliest.

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