Kodagu coffee growers to get relief for crop loss

Staff Correspondent

Tahsildars asked to submit list of beneficiaries

Compensation to the tune of Rs. 3.47 lakh to be disbursed

It is for loss of 50 per cent or more of standing coffee crop in 2007-08

Madikeri: The Kodagu district administration has announced that the coffee growers of Kodagu district will be given compensation for loss of 50 per cent or more of the standing crop in the year 2007-08. Sources in the Deputy Commissioner’s office said here on Monday that Rs. 3.47 lakh compensation would be disbursed among coffee growers who lost their crops during natural calamities during 2007-08.

According to the official sources, 8,904 applicants in the three taluks of Kodagu district who have lost crops on 5,785.49 hectares of land would be eligible to get the relief.

A few weeks ago, the Deputy Commissioner’s office sought clarifications from the State Government on whether compensation could be paid to the eligible growers from the calamity relief fund (CRF) or the Natural Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF).

Growers here had argued that certain hoblis in Mudigere taluk in Chikmaglur district were paid compensation for crop loss up to Rs. 1.37 crore during 2007-08 and the same provision should be made for coffee growers in Kodagu. The State Government has now issued an order that relief could be disbursed by the Deputy Commissioner from the CRF/NCCF.

Clarifications were sought in spite of the revised norms of June 2007 for assistance under the CRF/NCCF, circulated by the Union Home Ministry, which was adopted by the State Government vide order no. RD/292/TNR-2007, Bangalore, dated September 3, 2007. The Under Secretary to the Government, Revenue Department (Disaster Management) had issued the order to take retrospective effect from June 27, 2007. Grower organisations’ pleas to the district administration did not make any impact as “The matter has been sent to the State Government seeking its clarification to disburse the relief”.

The relief would cover those growers who have suffered more than 50 per cent loss to coffee crop in natural calamities. The tahsildars of the three taluks had submitted reports to the Deputy Commissioner over the extent of loss during 2007-08. The reports were sent to the State Government later.

The Deputy Commissioner had requested the Coffee Board (Extension) here to receive the applications from the growers with regard to loss and assess the loss and submit a report to him during 2007-08.

Following this, the Coffee Board had received the applications to avoid delay in the assessment of loss. The Board officials had clarified that authority relating to payment of compensation to growers would rest with the Deputy Commissioner and not with the Coffee Board.

The tahsildars of three taluks have been told to prepare the list the growers eligible for the compensation. Deputy Commissioner K.H. Ashwatha Narayana Gowda has said that he would approve payment of relief as soon as he received the list of beneficiaries from the tahsildars.

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