Coffee Board to discuss flood impact on growers

Stresses need for special package for rain-affected crops
A high-level meeting will be held on Monday at the Coffee Board to discuss the impact of the floods on coffee-growers, a majority of whom are small cultivators. The meeting is likely to be attended by senior officials of the Union Commerce Ministry, the Coffee Board, planters associations and State government officials, it is learnt. The board felt the need for a special package by the Centre, as the compensation paid under the Calamity Relief Fund under the National Disaster Management Plan may not suffice, in compensating the losses caused by the continuous rains during the southwest monsoon.
‘Reschedule loans’
The growers’ associations have urged rescheduling of outstanding loans and reduction of interest rates, in view of the calamity. In a communication to all Coffee Growers Associations, the Coffee Board said that a crop loss of 82,000 tonnes was estimated, due to heavy rains in the traditional coffee tracts of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Currently, the board has deployed its staff in all the calamity-hit areas and is working jointly with the revenue administration of the State governments, to assess crop damage and offer preliminary relief.
Terming the demands of growers in view of the “unprecedented difficult times faced by them” as justified, the board said that unlike other crops, coffee required intensive cultivation and huge financial investments to maintain plantations.
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