Relief package for coffee growers likely

The government is working on the package which may run into over Rs 1,500 crore, said an official in the Union Commerce Ministry. It includes loan waiver as well as crop insurance cover and it is expected to  benefit around 20,000 planters.

On Thursday, a delegation of coffee growers from Karnataka led by Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily met Union Commerce Ministry Anand Sharma and pleaded for immediate relief to the ailing sector.

Sharma said he would take up the issue at the government level.

In a memorandum to the minister, growers requested that all the loans in various banks for those having coffee land of up to 20 hectares be waived.

They also demanded waiver of  70 per cent of the debt loan for growers holding above 20 hectares.

The memorandum said due to  erratic rain, rampant infestation of diseases and fall in productivity, growers had been incurring losses up to Rs 20,000 per acre in the past five years.

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