The Central government should appoint a president to Coffee Board, at the earliest, for free functioning of the board and should also waive the loans availed by coffee planters who have a maximum of five hectares of plantation, said Coffee Board Member D M Vijay.
Addressing a press conference in the city on Tuesday, he said that after Javed Akhtar, the post was lying vacant from last March. Leena Nair of Kerala has been appointed as in-charge president, but she has no powers to take decisions.
“So, meeting of the board has not been convened for the past five months. Recruitments have not been done for vacant posts in the board. The board’s activities have come to standstill,” he said.
The coffee planters have suffered many problems including heavy rains, inflation, labour problem, diseases and others. Four farmers have already committed suicide because of debt at Shanivarasanthe, Somawarpet, Sangameshwarapet and Mudigere. Though the rains in June caused heavy damage to coffee crops in Mudigere taluk, the board president didn’t visit the location, he said.
“The farmers are not in state to repay the loans. The banks are filing complaints against the farmers who are yet to repay the loans. The government should waive the loans of small farmers and waive the interest on loans availed by owners of big estates. It should also direct the banks to stop its loan recovery process,” he demanded.
Vijay complained that MP Shobha Karandlaje was not responding to the problems of the coffee planters. “She is doing nothing to solve their problems,” he added.KGF Secretary Lava, Representative C C Eregowda, Prakash Rai, Prasad Amin and others were present.