The device can be manufactured at the chocolate factory in Puttur

The Union Government has issued license to the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (CAMPCO) Ltd. to manufacture arecanut peeling machines, according to its Managing Director M. Suresh Bhandary.

The cooperative received the licence a week ago, Mr. Bhandary told The Hindu.

He said the cooperative recently developed the machine for peeling white (chali) arecanut. It was getting it manufactured by a company in Mumbai after providing the design as it did not have licence for manufacturing.

The licence now had allowed the cooperative to manufacture “arecanut peeling machine and agriculture machinery” at its chocolate factory in Puttur, he said.

He said that of the 13 machines booked by farmers, the cooperative recently sold four machines manufactured through outsourcing. “In addition, 25 machines are being manufactured now through outsourcing,” he said. Each machine cost Rs. 75,000 plus taxes, he said.

The State Horticulture Department had convened a meeting in Bangalore on May 29 with regard to providing subsidy to the machine. The Government was likely to take a final decision to this effect at the meeting. If subsidy was extended farmers could purchase the machine at reduced rate.

Mr. Bhandary said the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore, had issued a certificate that the machine was 96 per cent efficient. Each machine could peel (output) 45 kg to 50 kg of white arecanut an hour. It has one-and-a-half horse power motor which could be operated with single phase power supply. The president said it produced less dust and noise. Mounted on wheels it could be transported everywhere.

Mr. Bhandary said using the machine farmers could peel raw chali at Rs. 2 a kg (operating cost). He said that skilled workers demanded up to Rs. 5 a kg for manual peeling till last year.