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Mangalore, Aug 9 To encourage research and development activities in arecanut sector, the Karnataka Government has announced Rs 2 crore for the Mangalore-based Arecanut Research and Development Foundation (ARDF).
Addressing the delegates at the international conference on the â€˜future of arecanutâ€™, organised by ARDF in Mangalore on Saturday, Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa, Karnataka Chief Minister, said ARDF has been carrying out research activities on the alternative and medicinal uses of arecanut. The ARDF, which demanded Rs 5 crore for the research activities from the Karnataka Government, will be sanctioned Rs 2 crore, he said.
To a demand on the foundation that ARDF be recognised by the Government, he said the Government will examine this matter.
In addition to this, the Government has proposed an areca research station at Sringeri and Rs 2 crore has been earmarked for this in the state budget, he said.
Mr Yeddyurappa urged the growers to take up mixed cropping activities in arecanut plantations.
On the repeated threats of gutkha ban by the Central Government, he suggested that the Government form a parliamentary committee to look into the issues associated with it.
Urging the delegates to come out with concrete solutions for the problems in the sector, he said the Government would take the recommendations of the conference seriously for the welfare of arecanut sector.
Mr S.R. Rangamurthy, Managing Trustee of ARDF, said the Government should look into the formation of a revolving fund, exclusively for the arecanut sector. This will help the sector at the time of crisis.
Speaking at the inauguration of the conference, Dr D. Veerendra Heggade, President of ARDF, said researches should focus on increasing the mass consumption of the commodity. Private researchers should be encouraged in this matter, he said. The Governments should give priority for the development of agriculture sector, he added.
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