50k growers get Rs 50 cr for areca loss

50k growers get Rs 50 cr for areca loss

Srinivas Nayak, Dakshina Kannada Working Journalists’ Association president, hands over a jackfruit to H R Nayak, Horticulture Department deputy director, during the ‘Meet the Press’ programme organised at Press Club in Mangaluru.

The government has released a compensation of Rs 50.09 crore to 50,000 areca growers who suffered crop loss in the last monsoon.

According to H R Nayak, deputy director of the Horticulture Department, fruit rot disease (kole roga) had hit areca plantations spread over 33,000 hectares last year.

The deputy director was speaking at an interaction session with reporters organised by the Dakshina Kannada Working Journalists’ Association at the Patrika Bhavan.

A total of 56,000 areca growers had sought to be recompensed. The total compensation amount to applicants was estimated at Rs 60 crore as per the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) guidelines, which specified Rs 18,000 per hectare as compensation.

Amount credited

“Following heavy rain in the last monsoon, the disease affected areca plantations in the district, especially in Sullia, Belthangady and Bantwal taluks. The compensation amount was credited to the bank accounts of applicants after the process of uploading data of applicants on the government Parihara software was completed. A few technical glitches and mismatch in details would have delayed the release of compensation to other applicants,” the deputy director explained.

He declared that it was one of the highest compensation amounts paid by the government so far. “In 2013, over 25,000 hectares of areca crop were hit by the fruit rot disease and the government had disbursed Rs 26 crore to recompense farmers,” Nayak added.

The deputy director informed that the survey to assess the damage caused from premature falling of arecanut, following water shortage in the district, was underway.

Jackfruit promotion

Cultivation of jackfruit is likely to get a boost in Dakshina Kannada as the Department of Horticulture will provide subsidy under the Integrated Horticulture Development Scheme.

Nayak said that farmers who cultivate jackfruit on at least five hectares of land in a cluster would be eligible for the subsidy. The development of a cluster will help market jackfruit, considered it being the most neglected fruit. Financial assistance will also be provided to set up jackfruit processing units, he added.

Pepper and cashew

“Pepper clusters will be formed in the district by extending the area of black pepper cultivation. For expansion, the farmers will get 50% subsidy per hectare. The unit per hectare is Rs 33,375,” he said.

“In 2019-20, under cashew area expansion, the unit cost per hectare is Rs 28,820, of which, Rs 16,820 will be borne under the Integrated Horticulture Department Scheme, while Rs 12,000 will be under the National Horticulture Mission.

“The nurseries of the Horticulture Department have raised four to five lakh black pepper vines and two lakh grafted cashew nut saplings that will be distributed among farmers,” said Nayak.

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