Agri Business

Co-ops to meet Health Minister, clear air over alleged ‘ill effects’ of arecanut

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on July 17, 2019 Published on July 17, 2019

A delegation of Members of Parliament from arecanut growing regions in the State called on Harsha Vardhan, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare in Delhi on Wednesday and told him him that arecanut is not harmful to health.   -  Special Arrangement

Following the recent statement of the Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare in Lok Sabha that arecanut consumption will affect human health, representatives of arecanut cooperatives from Karnataka are planning to meet the Union Health Minister to present their views to the Minister.

SR Satishchandra, president of Campco (Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative) Ltd, told BusinessLine that a delegation of arecanut cooperatives will meet the ministers concerned next week to discuss this issue.

Stating that the Kasaragod-based Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI) had submitted a report to the Health Ministry in February on the beneficial effects of the commodity, he said the report was of the opinion that arecanut is not harmful to the health.

(Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha on whether consumption of arecanut has an adverse impact on health, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, had said: “There are certain studies suggesting that arecanut has adverse health effects on various organs of the body. There are also concerns regarding its being carcinogenic to the oral cavity, pharynx and oesophagus.”)

Other arecanut cooperatives from Karnataka such as the Sirsi-based TSS (Totagars’ Cooperative Sale Society) Ltd, the Shivamogga-based MAMCOS (Malnad Areca Marketing Cooperative Society) Ltd and others will be part of the delegation, he said.

K Padmanabha, former Campco president, said the Shivamogga MP, BY Raghavendra, along with MPs from arecanut-growing regions, will meet the Prime Minister this week on this matter. The Prime Minister will be apprised of the beneficial impact of arecanut, he said.

Recalling the visit of the delegation of arecanut cooperatives, Ravish Hegde, General Manager of the Sirsi-based TSS Ltd, said the previous Union Health Minister was apprised of the importance of the commodity and its beneficial effects and he had promised action in this matter. He said the delegation of arecanut cooperatives needs to approach the government again to make its point clear on the topic.

Price steady

Both Satishchandra and Ravish Hegde said that the statement by the Health Ministry in Lok Sabha did not make much impact on the arecanut market.

Stating that the price of the commodity has remained steady, Suresh Bhandary, Managing Director of Campco, said the new stocks of white arecanut were trading in the range of ₹242 a kg and old stocks in the range of ₹280 a kg. The price of red arecanut was in the range of ₹358-360 a kg, he said.

Published on July 17, 2019
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor