Arecanuts worth ` 1,800 cr rot, says Campco President

'There will be decline in 2,00,000 metric tonne arecanut next year'

Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Co-operative (Campco) Limited President Konkodi Padmanabha has said that arecanuts worth more than Rs 1,800 crore have been damaged following rot disease affecting arecanut plantations and also due to drought-like situation in Karnataka and Kerala.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Saturday, he said that about 60 to 70 per cent of the crop has been damaged in Karnataka and Kerala. Areacnut is grown on 2,11,000 hectare area with a production of 2,79,000 metric tonne annually in Karnataka. It is grown on 96600 hectare with a production of 96,300 metric tonne annually in Kerala. About 25 per cent of the crop has been damaged in Tumkur, Davangere, Chitradurga, Birur following drought-like situation. There will be decline in 2,00,000 metric tonne arecanut in Karnataka and Kerala next year.

He said that a delegation led by Campco comprising farmers, leaders from cooperative societies and elected representatives had met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on September 6, to impress upon him to understand the gravity of rot disease affecting arecanut plantations and announce special package for arecanut growers. The CM in turn has agreed that more than 50 per cent of the areca crops have been damaged in Karnataka and has promised to announce special package after he returns from China. Karnataka has already sent a proposal on the loss of crops to the Centre, the CM has told the delegation.

Konkodi Padmanabha has said that a delegation will also be taken to Kerala Chief Minister, to provide compensation for the growers in Kerala.

He also urged the State and Central governments to support research activities that aim at finding a solution to rot disease. Stating that farmers need not worry over the fall in price of arecanut, he said that with the loss of crop and decline in supply, the price of ‘chaali’ and red variety of arecanut will not come down.

To help the arecanut growers, the Campco is planning to open branches to purchase arecanut six days in a week. Accordingly, a branch was opened in Bellare on September 6. “With the assurance from Gujarath CM Narendra Modi that arecanut will not be banned in Gujarath, the Campco will open a branch at Porbundar in Gujarath on September 29,” he informed.  

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