A delegation of coffee growers has demanded the Centre to implement schemes to revive the sector claiming that growers were facing number of challenges including price crash, fall in production and increasing cost of production.
During pre-budget meeting with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the delegation comprising members from Karnataka Growers Federation (KGF), Karnataka Planters Association (KPA) and Codagu Planters association (CPA) discussed long-term measures to be taken up to revive the plantation sector.
The delegation comprised KGF president U M Thirthamallesh, vice president Nanda Belliyappa, KPA president Shreesh Vijeyendra, CPA president M C Kariyappa, Pradeep Pooviah and others.
Demanding a debt relief package for coffee growers, the delegation said a large number of planters were in debt due low price, increasing production cost, drop in productivity due to consecutive drought and and flood for the past few years.
The planters also urged the Union ministers to operationalise the joint task force set up by former minister Suresh Prabhu for providing relief to planters for loss caused due to landslide and natural calamity.
The coffee growers demanded the removal of specific rule 7B(1), which has become a major hindrance for most of small coffee growers to take up value addition. “The process involves just milling and de-husking not amounting to change in form or intrinsic nature at any stage,” Murlidhar S Bakkaravalli, General Secretary, KGF said in a statement.
The delegation also requested the government to reduce GST rate for fertilisers, pesticides and fungicides and maintain the fertiliser subsidy level and price in the coming financial year.