Our Bureau

Mangalore, June 3

THE Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campco) Ltd has secured arecanut export orders from Agar International of Pakistan, according to its President, Mr L.N. Kudoor.

Mr Kudoor and the Campco Director, Mr Nagaraj Shetty, were part of the FICCI delegation that toured Pakistan in May.

Addressing newspersons here on Friday, Mr Kudoor said Campco had secured an order for 10 containers of . Around 170 to 180 tonnes of arecanut will be exported to Pakistan every month.

Agar International was one of the leading Pakistan-based business organisations, he said.

The Campco team, which visited Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore, contacted other retail and wholesale dealers too. In fact, the team discussed business opportunities with six other companies. However, nothing has been finalised in this regard, he said.

Asked about the profitability of arecanut export to Pakistan, Mr Kudoor said: "More than profitability, we want to establish market for arecanut in Pakistan. It will help us in the long run."

Campco may consider setting up its offices in that country, if it gets a favourable market there.

Stating that there was a demand for around 80,000 tonnes of arecanut in the Pakistan market, he said Thailand and Indonesian exporters met most of those requirements. According to Pakistan traders, he said, the quality of arecanut from these countries was inferior and substandard compared with India.

He thanked the Pakistan Government for lifting the ban on import of arecanut from India. Apart from this, the Pakistan Government had reduced the import duty on arecanut to 5 per cent. He termed it as favourable to the Indian arecanut market as a whole.

Asked about the prospects for exporting cocoa products to Pakistan, Mr Kudoor said there was a ban on the import of cocoa products, both semi-finished and finished ones, in Pakistan. Through FICCI, the delegates had requested Pakistan to revoke it. There was a scope for Campco's cocoa products in Pakistan, if it came out with a favourable decision, he added.

Procurement plans

On procurement plans, he said Karnataka had reserved Rs 10 crore as support price for the purchase of red and white varieties of arecanut under the market intervention scheme (MIS). Campco, which has received Rs 4 crore from this, had purchased 58,987 quintals of white variety and 287 quintals of red from 2,019 members. It had utilised Rs 3.99 crore of the sanctioned money, he said.

The Campco Managing Director, Mr G.R. Krishna Das said the Government had assured to release the remaining amount (Rs 6 crore) in a couple of days.

Stating that Kerala had announced a special subsidy package of Rs 10 crore for arecanut growers, Mr Kudoor said Campco had received around Rs 5 crore of this amount. Campco had purchased 59,943 quintals of arecanut from 14,914 growers with it. The Kerala Government had been urged to release the remaining amount, he said.

He said some traders from Mangalore in Karnataka and Kasaragod in Kerala were transporting arecanut to other parts of the country without paying tax. Such movement of arecanut would affect the members of Campco, as the cooperative had no control on those traders.

Mr Kudoor urged the Governments concerned to put an end to such transportation.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 4, 2005)
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