The Karnataka Grape Growers Association (KGGA) has submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa demanding various concessions from the Government, including waiver of loans.

Addressing presspersons here on Monday, association honorary secretary K.H. Mumbareddi said that in the past few years, grape growers had incurred heavy losses due to varying climatic conditions. He said the State Government had not taken any steps to address their problems even after several pleas were submitted.

In the memorandum, the association asked the Government to include grape in the crop insurance scheme for farmers, conduct a detailed survey of crop loss and start calculating the compensation amount at the panchayat level. Also, they demanded a waiver of sales tax on raisins, inclusion of raisins in the midday meal scheme for schoolchildren and the inclusion of labourers working in grape farms under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

He demanded sanctioning of loans up to Rs. 5 lakh at an interest rate of one per cent. .

The association asked the State Government to release funds to set up a wine park in Bijapur, saying the district administration had acquired land for this purpose. “Growers are incurring losses because of the lack of proper marketing facilities. A wine park would permanently solve their problem,” he added.

Association president B.M. Kokare, and administrative board members T.K. Hangaragi, Prakash Gani, Mallu Tungal and A.S. Nandrekar were present.