Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (CAMPCO) Ltd. is contemplating procuring coconut and pepper from farmers, according to its president Konkodi Padmanabha.
Speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of a function organised to release bath soaps of arecanut here on Wednesday he said that a proposal to this effect would be placed in the general body meeting of the cooperative in this September. The general body’s approval would be sought for amending the cooperative’s by-laws for enabling it to procure coconut and pepper.
Currently CAMPCO, a mutli-state cooperative of Karnataka and Kerala, procured arecanut, rubber and cocoa from farmers.
He said that CAMPCO would set up another windmill to reduce its dependency on grid power at its chocolate factory in Puttur.
The 2.1 MW capacity windmill would be set up at Chikkodi before March, 2012. This would be in addition to 1.25 MW capacity windmill it commissioned at Halthimalapura in Hoovinahadagali taluk, Bellary district, two years ago, he said.
Its first windmill started operation on March 31, 2009. It generated 25 lakh units of power in 2009-10 and 21 lakh units in 2010-11, Mr. Padmanabha said.
He said that the chocolate factory produced 13,000 tons of semi-finished and semi-finished cocoa products in 2010-11. It has aimed at increasing it to 17,000 tonnes in the current financial year.
Earlier at the function he released “Pooga Singar” bath soap made out of arecanut and produced by P. Shankar Bhat Badanaje, a farmer-cum-researcher of Vitla to the market.
Addressing the gathering he said that CAMPCO would ensure that the soaps were available for sale in its procurement centres for farm products.
He suggested farmers not to extend area under arecanut cultivation.
Nalin Kumar Kateel, Member of Parliament, Mangalore, said that special economic zones for industries could not provide employment to all people. But agriculture provided employment to all including those who did not have literacy. He said that cashew factories also gave employment to those did not have literacy.
He alleged that Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL) did not gave employment to members of farmer families displaced for setting up its establishment here.
The MP congratulated Mr. Badanaje for producing a value added product of arecanut.
Mr. Badanaje said that more researchers should come forward for producing value added products from arecanut. They should meet the requirements of consumers in the modern era. He said that extract from an arecanut made a bar of soap he produced.
Mr. Badanaje said that he also made lip stick from arecanut extract.
Progressive farmer D. C. Chowta and president of All India Areca Growers’ Association Manchi Srinivasa Achar spoke. (EOM)