Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has informed the former Prime Minister and JD (S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda that a five-member team would visit coconut plantations in the Mysore division. The team headed by Horticulture Commissioner Gorakh Singh will study the intensity of the damage to the crop and submit a report to the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC).

Mr. Deve Gowda, in his letter to Mr. Sharad Pawar on July 15, said that six crore coconut trees spread over 11.7 lakh acres of land in Mandya, Ramanagaram, Bangalore Rural, Tumkur, Hassan, Chikmaglur and Chitradurga districts had been affected by disease. He also requested Mr. Pawar to bail out both coconut and arecanut growers, who were on the verge of committing suicide.

In his reply to Mr. Deve Gowda on July 19, Mr. Sharad Pawar said that the team would make its recommendations to the DAC before July 28.

The team will study district-wise extent and intensity of disease-afflicted coconut plantations, establish the causes and assess damage, suggest prophylactic measures to contain the spread of disease and treatment of affected coconut plantations, suggest ways to improve productivity of crop, assess the number of affected coconut growers and provide an estimate regarding the quantum of assistance required to replace affected coconut trees, and recommend an action plan for replacement and rejuvenation of coconut plantations.

In the Legislative Assembly, Revanna and K.M. Shivalinge Gowda (both JD-S) raised the issue of dried up coconut trees. Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra replied that the Union government had set apart Rs. 2,275.64 crore for coconut rejuvenation scheme, including Rs. 478.50 crore subsidy component.

  • Deve Gowda writes to Sharad Pawar

  • ‘Six crore coconut trees in several districts affected by disease’