Five coconut parks have been proposed to promote value-added products from the coconut, such as neera, palm syrup, palm jaggery and palm sugar.
Amendments will be made in the Excise Act to remove the bottlenecks to promotion, said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in his budget speech on Friday. These value-added products will also receive tax benefits. The State had in the past witnessed protests by farmers seeking rights to tap neera, and a draft neera policy was also ready in 2007.
Coconut is being cultivated on 11.7 lakh acres in the State and the government has proposed to provide 25 per cent subsidy, matching the subsidy provided by the Coconut Development Board, for the processing units.
Among others, encouragement would be given to grow alternative crops in arecanut plantations that are economically feasible. As much as Rs. 2 crore has been set aside in the budget for this.
For pomegranate growers struggling to contain bacterial blight attack, there is an allocation of Rs. 12.5 crore as financial aid, which matches the Union government’s assistance.
As much as Rs. 243.76 crore has been set aside for expanding the horticulture area under drip irrigation. While horticulture crops are being cultivated in 20 lakh hectares, 3.62 lakh is at present under drip irrigation. A subsidy of 90 per cent has been announced for farmers from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, while 75 per cent subsidy has been announced for other farmers.
Organic cultivation has received a boost with Rs. 25 crore earmarked to bring 82,500 acres under organic cultivation.
Allocation of Rs. 12.5 crore to pomegranate growers Encouragement to grow alternative crops in arecanut plantations
Rs. 12.5 crore
Encouragement to grow alternative crops in arecanut plantations