COFFEE GROWERS MEET KAMAL NATH
Date : 11 Feb 2005
Location : New Delhi
Coffee growers from Karnataka met the Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Shri Kamal Nath, here yesterday and sought a special package for the coffee industry in the state. The delegation wanted a long-term solution as well as an immediate relief for the growers. The Minister assured the delegation that he would look into their problems and that the Ministry would formulate a package for coffee growers soon.
The country produces 3 lakh tonnes of coffee every year, of which 80 percent is exported and 20 percent is consumed domestically. Karnataka contributes nearly 70 percent of the country’s production. The delegation informed the Minister that banks are not extending easy credit to the growers and that over the years, the accumulated interest has also got capitalised adding to the interest burden of the growers. The price fluctuation in the international market has adversely affected the growers putting them in a difficult financial situation. Earlier the delegation had met the Congress president and UPA convenor, Ms. Sonia Gandhi to urge her to impress upon the Centre to waive interest on loans since 1999.
In view of the fall in coffee prices and the continuing drought in the last three years, the delegation also requested that fresh crop loans be extended at 6 percent interest rate.