Staff Correspondent

They demand a special package from the Government

‘Create employment facilities for the youth’

Seeds and pesticides sought at subsidised rates

HASSAN: The Hanubalu hobli Planters’ Association, through a representation made to the Union and State Governments, has urged that Hanubalu Hobli be declared as natural calamity-affected. The association said that a special package should be announced for the hobli.

Association president H.B. Bhaskar, secretary Vijaya Vivekananda and treasurer D.B. Mahesh, who released a copy of the representation to the media here on Wednesday, said that the hobli in Sakleshpur taluk of Hassan district received 150 inches to 250 inches of rainfall every year.

They said that a number of rivers had their origins here. Every year farmers of the region suffer from excessive rainfall and subsequent crop loss, they said.

Prices of spices and other crops had crashed. Heavy rain had also damaged coffee crop. Planters had been forced to commit suicide.

More than 130 people of the region (Hassan, Chikmagalur and Kodagu districts) had committed suicide in the last three years, they said.

Loan waiver

In their presentation, they urged for waiving crop loans given by banks, acre-wise for coffee cultivation. They demanded that Rs. 24,000 per acre for Arabica plantation and Rs. 18,000 per acre for Robusta plantation be waived, and sought long-term loans to be given at an interest rate of 4 per cent.

They said a new breed of seeds that was adaptable to local weather conditions should be developed. They said that seeds, pesticides, fertilizers and equipment should be provided at subsidised rates.

They asked the Government to depute an agricultural expert to the district to give advice to farmers on cultivation issues.

They said the crop insurance scheme should be revised so that farmers could avail themselves of full compensation for crop loss. They said officials should personally assess crop loss.

They said employment opportunities should be created for the local youth. They also said that solar power units should be set up.