Move to remove areca from special scheme raises hackles

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr


Shimoga: The Centre has delivered another blow to arecanut growers in the State by deciding to discontinue the special scheme on the cost of cultivation for arecanut.

The Directorate of Economics and Statistics under the Union Ministry of Agriculture had officially communicated the decision a few months ago to T N Prakash Kammaradi, the then honorary director of the Comprehensive Scheme on Cost of Cultivation of Principal Crops of Karnataka, UAS, Bangalore, who had been handling the scheme since 2000.

The scheme had facilitated the State government to declare Minimum Support Price (MSP) for arecanut whenever the market prices crashed. This scheme had proved highly beneficial to declare compensation for growers when they incurred losses.

The decision to drop arecanut from the scheme has turned out to be a huge setback for growers in Karnataka, who are eagerly waiting for the Supreme Court’s verdict on a case pertaining to the harmful effects of consuming arecanut.

According to experts, the move is likely to harm the prospects of arecanut growers. They have urged the growers to chalk out strategies to fight the move.

Kammaradi has written to the Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Co-operation, Union Ministry of Agriculture, urging it to continue the scheme for arecanut.

Prakash told Deccan Herald, “It is unfortunate that arecanut has been excluded from the list of crops under the Market Intervention Scheme.”

“It is true that the prices of arecanut are high in the market at present. But how long will they remain the same is a big question,” he said.

Campco president Kankodi Padmanabha said, “It’s a foolish decision taken by the Centre.”

N K Krishna Kumar, Deputy Director General, Horticulture, Indian Council for Agriculture Research, New Delhi, said the market prices of areca had remained high even when the issue of ban was at its peak. So, the prices of areca might not come down to an extent where cost of production will be higher than market prices

Write A Comment