Ministry to look into coffee growers' problems

Ministry to look into coffee growers' problems

Growers asked to insure under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana

The issue of coffee growers will be discussed by the ministry, said Union Minister for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman.

She was speaking at the coffee growers’ convention in Mudigere on Thursday.

“Growers should come forward to protect the coffee industry. Earlier, an IAS officer had been appointed as head of the Coffee Board. However, the problems faced by the coffee growers and labourers did not come to the notice of the officials. As a result, a coffee grower has been appointed president of Coffee Board,” she said.

“The growers face inconvenience owing to the vagaries of Nature. The government will provide assistance to construct check dams to improve the water table,” she said and promised to extend the benefit of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana to the Coffee Board as well. As no insurance is available for coffee planters, she appealed to the growers to make use of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana itself.

MP Shobha Karandlaje said that scientists could not find solution to borer disease.

Former council chairperson B L Shankar said that Arabica coffee has been destroyed by 30% to 40% every year. “There is a need to protect it. A team of coffee growers should be sent abroad to study the coffee growing pattern in foreign countries. Subsidy should be provided for the construction of houses for growers,” he suggested.

Legislator C T Ravi said that although five ESI hospitals have been sanctioned to Karnataka, one should be sanctioned to Chikkamagaluru. The district has six lakh coffee labourers, he reminded.