The Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campco) Ltd is planning to diversify into the business of spices and medicinal and aromatic plants. Campco now deals with arecanut, cocoa, rubber, pepper, cashew and coconut.

A Kishore Kumar Kodgi, President of Campco, told businessline that the members of the cooperative have approved a by-law amendment on “specified agricultural produce” to include spices, medicinal herbs and aromatic plants, oil palm and coffee to expand its business. This was approved at the recent annual general meeting of the cooperative.

Kodgi said this move would help the cooperative to encourage farmers to diversify their crops. Some members have already taken up the cultivation of spices and medicinal plants in their arecanut plantations, he said.

Apart from this, the members of the cooperative also approved a by-law amendment to procure, manufacture and distribute organic manure. Stating that this move would help grower-members, he said Campco will be launching organic manure under its brand name by the end of November.

Research on disease control

Considering demands from the grower members in the previous annual general meetings, the cooperative had placed a by-law amendment to promote scientific research on disease control, and the members have approved it.

There are cases of diseases such as yellow leaf disease (YLD) and leaf spot disease in some arecanut-growing regions. Stating that Campco is a body of farmers, he said this amendment will help the cooperative to collaborate with other institutes to promote research in disease control.

Referring to Campco’s initiatives in this, he said the cooperative, in association with Arecanut Research and Development Foundation (ARDF), had conducted a conference on YLD and leaf spot disease in November 2022. Experts from various research institutes and universities were invited to the conference to present their research output, and to provide solutions and action plans to handle the diseases in arecanut plantations.

The annual general meeting also amended a by-law to include two women members in the board of directors of the cooperative.