Shortage of currency notes creates hardship for planters

Climate change, Vardah after-effects add to woes of coffee growers

Following the scrapping of the old 500 and 1000-rupee notes, coffee planters have been facing problems in terms of distribution of wages to labourers.

As there is acute shortage of currency notes of lower denomination, the coffee planters are not able to disburse the wages to the labourers in their plantations. This has also caused a great trouble to the workers.

As the coffee fruits are not reaped at the right time, they have started withering. The climate change has also hit the crops, the coffee growers said.

Crop affected
Up to 95% of the Arabica coffee crop was expected to be harvested this year. But, due to shortage of rains, there was only 60% of the crop. Also, 15 to 20% of the coffee crop has been lost to the after-effects of the Vardah cyclone. Moreover, produce of the Robusta variety of coffee has drastically come down as there were no rains in the months of March and April.

“Small scale and marginal coffee planters, owning eight to ten acres of plantation, need Rs 25,000 a week towards the wages of labourers while coffee estate owners need lakhs of rupees. But, as per the demonetisation rules, the money deposited in banks cannot be withdrawn as per our requirements,” the planters said.

If Rs 2,000 note is given to workers, they do not accept it and demand lower denomination currency. There is no sufficient lower denomination notes in banks. On the other hand, the distribution and circulation of Rs 100 and Rs 500 notes is not done. The merchants too are not ready to purchase coffee at the moment. There is a situation where every coffee planter has to stand in queue outside banks everyday.
 

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