Central team visit rekindles areca growers' hope

Areacnut is known for its medicinal value

Arecanut, a lifeline of Malnad.  DH Photo

Horticulture Commissioner Dr Gorak Singh had earlier suggested that arecanut was a raw material used in gutka. It must be destroyed step by step and all the assistance to arecanut must be withdrawn. However, now Gorak Singh himself is touring the district to assess the yellow leaf disease affected plantations has created curiosity among the growers on one hand and on the other a hope.

Areacnut is the lifeline of Malnad. It is known for its medicinal value from the time immemorial. Arecanut is considered as ‘mangala dravya’ and should not be destroyed. The alternative crops like rubber have failed to yield success in the region. All the political parties and farmers associations have made preparations to urge the government to provide assistance to the growers during the Central team’s visit.

The total production of arecanut is 7.65 lakh metric tonne across the world. India produces 4.1 lakh metric tonne. The contribution of Karnataka government is 41 per cent of the total production. Arecanut is grown in 90,000 hecatre in the state and 60 lakh farmers are dependent on it for their livelihood. However owing to the Yellow leaf disease, fruit rot disease, ‘beruhula’ diseases, arecanut growers are in distress. In this background, the Gorak Singh’s report had become deathknell on the growers.

The Central team will visit Agalagandi, Kombatti, Dyavagodu, Modalamane, Bhuvanakote, Thanoodi, Karimane and other places.

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