Agri Business

Campco conducts pilot on buying areca at growers’ doorsteps

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on October 13, 2020

This follows a scarcity of labour for a majority of arecanut growers

Growers of arecanut in some parts of Karnataka and Kerala may get an opportunity to sell their produce to a cooperative at their doorsteps soon, if the recent initiative by a multi-state cooperative is any indication.

The Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campco) Ltd is now conducting a pilot project to procure arecanut from the doorsteps of farmers in Puttur (a major arecanut-growing centre) and its surroundings in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka.

SR Satishchandra, President of Campco, told BusinessLine that scarcity of labour is a problem for a majority of arecanut growers.

Farmers have to process the harvested crop and segregate it according to the quality of arecanuts. Following this, they have to transport the arecanut to the nearby procurement centre in their village.

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The new generation is not showing interest in taking up farm labour activities in arecanut plantations, and those available with the arecanut growers are advancing in age. Added to this, a significant number of farmers too are above 60 years of age, he said.

Considering this, the cooperative is planning to approach the growers at their doorsteps to procure the produce.

Stating that the cooperative has been doing this for a few committed members over the last two years, he said, such farmers inform the cooperative on the availability of harvested crop.

Campco took it up as a pilot project in Puttur taluk and surrounding areas six months ago. Under the pilot project, the cooperative has, till now, purchased about 5,000 quintals of arecanut from nearly 200 growers.

Based on the feedback received for the pilot project, the cooperative is planning to implement this service in other areas in Karnataka and Kerala by early 2021. Campco has around 150 arecanut procurement centres in Karnataka and Kerala, he said.

Also read: CPCRI’s Vittal station produces 1 lakh areca seedlings

Apart from taking care of the labour scarcity in the activities related to packing, it also eases the task of transporting the commodity from the farmers’ place to the arecanut procurement centres of Campco. This helps the farmers save on transportation cost too.

Once the areca is harvested, it needs to be segregated into different qualities. But there are not enough workers to undertake this activity at the farmers’ end. So, the cooperative undertakes this work at its end for the farmers, Satishchandra said, adding, and the grower is charged a small fee for it.

Published on October 13, 2020

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