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MP demands higher minimum support price for arecanut

PUTTUR: The Government should increase the minimum support price for arecanut under the market intervention scheme as the production cost has gone up steeply, D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Mangalore MP, said here on Tuesday.

He was addressing a gathering at a function organised by Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Ltd. (CAMPCO) here to release its new products.Mr. Sadananda Gowda said the Government has fixed Rs. 60 per kg of white arecanut as the minimum support price. This is not enough even to meet the production cost. Hence there is a need to increase the price. The MP said cooperative bodies like CAMPCO should prevail upon the Government to increase the price by giving statistics. It is important to place before the Government the expenditure involved in producing arecanut.

Mr. Sadananda Gowda said there is a proposal before the Centre to set up a Rs. 2,000-crore permanent market stabilisation fund for plantation crops.

The issue has been raised in the Lok Sabha.

The Union Commerce Ministry has promised to release 5 per cent subsidy for export of arecanut. The Ministry has directed the ports to check illegal import of arecanut.

He said farmers should have a lobby to fight for their rights. It is unfortunate that although farmers are in a majority in the country, they did not fight for their rights.

Peraje Srinivasa Rao, senior cooperative leader, said the cooperative bodies will grow only when all farmers sell their produces through them. Those who serve in cooperative sector should keep away from politics, he said.

The former president of CAMPCO K. Rama Bhat, and Shakuntala Shetty and B. Nagaraja Shetty, MLAs, spoke.

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