A delegation of Karnataka Growers’ Federation(KGF) led by Udupi – Chikmagalur MP Shobha Karandlaje met Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi on Wednesday. The delegation urged the minister to completely waive the interest on loans availed of by coffee growers with effect from June 30, 2019, as the market rate for coffee has touched a record low this year, compared to the last 26 years.
Coffee growers incurred a heavy loss due to incessant rain last year. The growers suspect a loss this year too, owing to drought in the region, the delegation said.
The farmers should be provided with a compensation of Rs 18 lakh per acre of land, which was lost due to land slides, the delegation informed the minister in their memorandum.
The demands includes
- Provision of crop loans to the growers at 3% interest,.
- Fixation of minimum support price for coffee and pepper crops as per the Dr Swaminathan report,
- Release of arrear subsidies to coffee planters,
- Considering Chikori mixed coffee as an adulteration by bringing in an amendment to the relevant law,
- Provision of more powers to the Coffee Board chairman,
- Scrapping of the Central Board Direct Tax on the coffee industry and imposing a ban on the import of pepper.
- The growers also requested the minister to take permanent measures to control wild animal and human conflict.
A memorandum was also submitted to Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda. Coffee Board chairman M S Bojegowda, Karnataka Growers’ Federation president U M Theerthamallesh, general secretary Muralidhar S Bakkaravalli, vice president Nanda Belliyappa, members D M Vijay and organising secretary K K Vishwanath represented the growers.
MPs Pratap Simha, Prajwal Revanna and P C Mohan were also present.