Panel formed to find solution for encroachment problem

Encroachment has become a cause of worry for coffee growers. In order to find a solution to the vexing problem, a committee has been constituted under the aegis of Karnataka  Growers’ Federation (KGF) and it has urged the chief minister to provide a permanent solution to the issue, said Federation President Dr N K Pradeep.

Addressing mediapersons on Wednesday, he said that a delegation led by MP Jayaprakash Hegde met the chief minister on October 25 and had apprised of the encroachment issue. The delegation had appealed to the CM to constitute and head a committee comprising of legal experts, ministers and officers of revenue, agriculture and other departments concerned, elected representatives, farmers and representatives from the growers associations. The chief minister has responded positively to the request, he said.

Further, he said that the delegation has also placed other demands before the CM including, to form Akrama Sakrama Committee and take measures to distribute land under Form No 53, constitute forest committee as per the Forest Rights Act, 2007 and not to clear Inam land cultivators in Kalasa.

“Approximately 50 per cent of the coffee crop has been destroyed due to heavy rain in Kodagu, Hassan and Chikmagalur districts. The Coffee Board had estimated coffee production as 3,37,000 metric tonnes this year, a huge reduction of 1,50,000 tonnes due to rain.

Nearly 80 per cent of the pepper cultivation too has been damaged.

A scientific survey has to be conducted by the department officers to estimate the extent of damage in plantations and provide compensation. The Central government has to release a package for medium and large scale coffee growers as the coffee industry is in crisis,” Pradeep demanded.

KGF President said that they have also demanded the government to waive loans taken by cardamom growers.

In addition to the issue of crop loss, another issue bothering the planters is, they have lost right on trees grown in their plantations. As per the 2007 order, they should be allowed to cut the trees in coffee and cardamom plantations. The government should also put an end to wild elephants menace in Malnad region, by relocating them. The committee has demanded the government to extend financial aid upto 70 per cent for solar fencing to protect their plants, he said.

Yet another demand placed before the government is to release the remaining fund to Indian Coffee Marketing Co-operative Company Ltd (Comark).

The government has sanctioned Rs 10 crore for the revival of the company of which only Rs 6.77 crore has been released.

Hence, we have demanded the government to release Rs 3.2 crore to help the firm to carry out its trade, Pradeep added.

District-in-Charge Minister Abhayachandra Jain, Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya, MLC Motamma, Gayatri Shantegowda and others were part of the delegation.

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