Former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa on Monday extended his support to the distressed arecanut farmers and urged the Union government to immediately ban import of the same.
Participating in the agitation by arecanut growers under the Karnataka State Co-operative Farmers Welfare Association here at Freedom Park, he also demanded the implementation of the Gorak Singh Committee report to help the farmers and also waive loans.
Arecanut growers are facing problems due to scarcity of rain, diseases and non-availability of timely loan.
Briefing problems faced by the arecanut farmers, R M Manjunath Gowda, President of the association, said: “Arecanut is grown on over 4 lakh hectares in the state and more than seven lakh families are dependent on it. To subsidise the price of raw material for the leather industry, the import duty on arecanut was lifted some months ago.”
Yeddyurappa also urged the state government to establish a Arecanut Board which can take up research work to find medicines for various diseases affecting the trees. BJP MLA H Halappa, former minister Kagodu Thimappa and state JD(S) president H D Kumaraswamy participated in the protest.