Mangaluru, Sep 20, 2016: It has come to light in the media that MLC, Ivan D’Souza, has objected to the Union Agriculture Ministry’s decision to keep out small and medium growers of arecanut from subsidy given under the PMKSY, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana .
On Sept 17, Saturday, MLC D’Souza said while arecanut growers are reeling for want of support price, it was wrong on the part of the Union government to keep the growers out of subsidy to be granted under PMKSY for the year 2016-17. MLC Ivan D’Souza said it was an irony that the Union government had excluded only arecanut while allowing subsidy for other commercial crops namely rubber, coffee and tea.
MLC, D’Souza said that arecanut was being grown in 2.59 lakh hectares in 24 districts in the State. Shivamogga leads the list with 48,187 hectares followed by 36,980 hectares in Chikkamagaluru and 34,977 hectares in DK, Dakshina Kannada. These growers have been demanding support price.
MLC D’Souza said the decision of the Union government will have grave impact on small and medium farmers cultivating arecanut, who are eligible for subsidy under the PMKSY. He claimed that 80 per cent of arecanut growers were small and medium farmers. Under PMKSY, farmers are given assistance for having drip irrigation and other measures for effective utilisation of water in a field.
MLC Ivan D’Souza said he does not have the number of arecanut growers in the State who have made use of assistance under PMKSY so far. He said he would write a letter to the Union Agriculture Ministry seeking inclusion of arecanut growers in PMKSY. He would also take a delegation of arecanut growers to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.