'Announce financial help to coffee growers'

Loan waiver will be of no use to small growers, says Forum

Coffee Belegarara Hitharakshana Vedike has urged the Coffee Board to announce a financial assistance of Rs 50,000 per acre for those growers who have been unable to repay the loan.

The Centre and the state governments should intervene and waive off the loan borrowed from the nationalised banks and cooperative banks.

Vedike district secretary Holadagadde Girish said that owing to change in weather, the growers have been suffering from low production.

The coffee plants have been affected with ‘kandakoraka’ disease. About 100 to 150 plants have been lost in one acre land. With deficit rain, more coffee plants will be affected with the diseases, he said. 

Coffee Board President Javeed Akther along with the members will visit the coffee plantations soon.

 The Coffee Board President should understand the reality and then submit a detailed report to the state and central governments.

“The maximum limit to avail loan at one per cent interest is Rs three lakh. Above Rs three lakh loan will attract interest of 11 per cent from the cooperative societies.

As a result, the arecanut and coffee growers in Malnad can not avail the facility. As per the rules framed by the Coffee Board, growers owning less than 25 acre are small growers.

The loan limit for the small growers should be extended to Rs 10 lakh from Rs three lakh,” he said.

He said “under Nabard scheme, on the basis of RTC, mid term loan will be sanctioned to the growers to buy power tiller, tractor, trailor, jeep and pick up vans.

However, the cooperative bank manager’s have said that the scheme does not include loan for jeeps and pick up vans.

As a result, the growers from hilly region are denied of the facilities under the scheme. Loan to purchase jeep and pick up van should be considered as agriculture mid-term loan.”

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar has announced loan and interest waiver upto Rs 25,000 for those who had availed farm loans from agriculture cooperative societies.

The government had stated that this will impose an additional burden of Rs 3,500 crore to the state exchequer and will benefit 16 lakh farmers.

In reality, about 90 per cent of the small farmers have repaid the loan borrowed from the cooperative societies.

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