Shimoga: Alleging that neither the successive state governments nor the MLAs or MPs have prevailed upon the Union government about the problems of areca growers, Apex Bank president R M Manjunath Gowda said more than 10,000 areca growers will hold a one-day sit-in dharna at Freedom Park in Bangalore on July 30. They will urge the Centre and the state government to implement Gorakh Singh Committee Report immediately.
“After the partition of the country, the Central government promoted areca cultivation by giving high subsidies for farmers in areas other than traditional areca growing region. Because of this, areca is growing in more than four lakh hectares in the country. Now, the Central government is neglecting areca growers. The Centre revoked the imposition of 108 per cent import duty on areca to support leather industry. Due to this, native areca has lost its demand in the market.
This decision is detrimental to the welfare of areca growers in the country. The Centre should impose import duty and keep a tab on import of areca from other countries,” he added. He alleged that only the Central government is responsible for the problems being faced by areca growers. “The Central government is getting more than Rs 15,000 crore revenue from the state due to areca and its by-products. The government should set up a separate board like the Spice Board for areca to exploit the crops economically and help farmers of the state,” he demanded.
The farmers allege that neither the successive state governments nor the MLAs or MPs have helped them.
B R Jayanth of Karnataka State Cooperative Farmers Welfare Forum, Shimul president K L Jagadeeshwar and others were present at the press meet.