The production cost of the 225-kg machine is Rs. 75,000
Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Ltd. (CAMPCO) has launched a machine to peel white arecanut.
Suresh Bhandary, General Manager of CAMPCO, told The Hindu on Friday that the 225-kg machine was launched on Thursday. It could peel 40 kg of white arecanut per hour.
He said it would cost 85 paise to peel a kg of white arecanut, whereas skilled workers charged between Rs. 4.50 and Rs. 5 to peel a kg. The machine consumed 1.3 units of power per hour. The cost of power worked out to 18 paise to peel a kg of arecanut. If one paid Rs. 200 a day to a worker handling the machine, the labour cost worked out to be 66 paise to peel a kg. Thus, the total cost would be 85 paise to peel a kg. of arecanut.
Mr. Bhandary pointed out that CAMPCO had designed the machine and got it manufactured by a private manufacturer. The production cost, excluding taxes, was Rs. 75,000 a machine. Safety measures were there to prevent any injury to those handling the machine. CAMPCO had approached the State government to grant subsidy through the Department of Horticulture to farmers who purchased this machine. If the government allowed 50 per cent subsidy, it would be available to farmers for Rs. 38,000. He said that the machine would be delivered to farmers after six months of placing the order with Arecanut Research and Development Foundation (ARDF), a wing of CAMPCO in Mangalore. The machine was displayed at a meet of technicians and farmers at CAMPCO's office here on Thursday. Speaking on the occasion, president of CAMPCO Konkodi Padmanabha said that CAMCPO would organise a “yantra mela” with a focus on agriculture equipment shortly.