Special Correspondent

Representation made to Chief Minister

SHIMOGA: The Sagar Pranthya Areca Growers’ Association has sought the Government’s immediate intervention with a view to help growers in the Malnad region whose areca plants have been affected by “Kole Roga”.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, association president B.R. Jayanth said that a representation had been made to Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa seeking immediate relief for growers who were facing uncertainty on account of the extensive damage to their plants.

He said though an official estimate of the damage was yet to be made, a rough estimate put it at Rs. 100 crore as nearly 50,000 plants have been damaged by a fungus attack. Apart from it, he said many areca trees were uprooted by gusty wind.

He said what had added to the growers’ woes was the declining trend in the price structure. They did not have any other source to fall back upon for their sustenance. Traditional areca growers, who have been in a crisis for the last two years, were facing a far more serious problem now.

Mr. Jayanth said that though the Government announced compensation of Rs. 8,000 a hectare subject to the maximum area of two hectares two years ago, it could not be implemented because of the “unhelpful” stand taken by the Revenue Department. The Revenue Department had said compensation could not be disbursed in the absence of a yardstick to assess damage to the plants.