The Karnataka Agriculture Price Commission (APC) has convened a meeting in Bengaluru on June 6 to discuss the formation of a separate board for arecanut cultivation, said chairman Prakash Kammaradi.
A technical committee comprising vice-chancellors of agriculture universities, representatives of arecanut cooperative marketing societies and farmers’ organisations was formed to work out the modalities on the formation of the board.
Following the meeting, the commission will submit a proposal to the State government on the formation of the board, Mr. Kammaradi told presspersons here on Saturday.
The formation of a separate board at a national level for arecanut cultivation on the model of the existing boards for coffee, rubber, spices has been a long-standing demand of the farmers.
The chairperson of Indian Institute of Plantation Management and other agriculture experts will be invited for the meeting.
After the APC submits the proposal, the State government will request the Centre to form the board by passing an Act in the Parliament, Mr. Kammaradi explained.
He added that the board would collect information on the area of cultivation of arecanut, the total production, and quantum of imports and would undertake a study and research pest management and value-addition for the produce.
As more than 60 percent of the total area of cultivation of arecanut is in Karnataka, the MPs from the State should also request the Centre to establish the board, he said.
Replying to a query, he said that initially there was opposition from a section of cooperative societies engaged in the marketing of arecanut towards the formation of the board on the grounds that it would be run by bureaucrats.
The APC has since convinced the cooperative societies that there would be a fair representation of all the stakeholders including farmers, marketing cooperative societies and agriculture experts in the board, he said.
Source : The Hindu