Growers demand govt to continue coffee subsidy

Growers demand govt to continue coffee subsidy

Growers demand govt to continue coffee subsidy

The NDA government’s proposal to cut the subsidy in agriculture and other sectors has created fear in the minds of coffee growers in Kodagu.

The growers are eager to know the contents of the general budget which Finance Minister Arun Jaitely will present in the Lok Sabha.

The small coffee growers said that the subsidy amount should be continued and the amount should be increased if possible. Karnataka is the largest coffee producer in the country. Coffee contributes to the economy of the country.

Along with Kodagu, coffee is grown in Chikmagalur and Hassan districts. About 90 per cent of the growers are small and medium growers. The recent rain has created uncertainty. The region faces heavy rainfall as well as drought. Vagaries of weather have a significant impact on coffee.

Coffee Board Member Dr S M Kaverappa told Deccan Herald that the Coffee Board has submitted a petition to the finance ministry not to cut the subsidy amount for the coffee growers. At present, the Central government provides subsidy to irrigation, pumpset, replantation, construction of godowns, coffee dry yard, and purchase of machineries.

` 950 crore proposal

The Coffee Board has submitted a proposal of Rs 950 crore to the Central government for the development of coffee.

The proposal is before the cabinet committee for economic affairs. If the proposal is approved, then it will benefit the coffee growers, said Dr S M Kaverappa. “We hope that the Finance Minister will announce package. The subsidy should be extended.” At present, 25 per cent subsidy is given for drip irrigation.

However, for a few horticulture crops, 90 per cent of subsidy amount is given for installing drip irrigation. The subsidy amount of 30 to 40 per cent should be hiked for replantation.

With the district reeling under deficit rainfall, the government should waive off the loans borrowed by small coffee growers. The government had waived off the loan in 2009, said Small Growers Association President Cheranda Nanda Subbaiah. The loan should be easily available to the coffee growers.

The government should provide subsidy for the purchase of equipment.

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