We encourage farmers to engage in multi-cropping to effectively face vagaries: S.R. Satishchandra

9:57 AM, Friday, September 28th, 2018
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campco-ltdMangaluru: The Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campco) Ltd. is making its foray into coconut processing and marketing with a view to help farmers to get better prices for coconut that is largely grown in coastal Karnataka and Kerala where the cooperative has strong presence.

Campco president S.R. Satishchandra told reporters here that the cooperative, initially dealing with areca, has expanded to coca, pepper and rubber and now to coconut, as it is committed to better the economic stability of farmers. “We encourage farmers to engage in multi-cropping to effectively face vagaries of nature and economy,” he said.

The coconut processing plant, land for which is yet to be finalised, would be established with machinery and technical guidance from Alfa Laval with a capacity to process 1 lakh coconuts a day. With an investment of about ₹40 crore, the plant would produce virgin oil and desiccated coconut, primarily meant for export as well as activated carbon (from coconut shells), pasteurised coconut milk and coconut oil for domestic market.

The plant will come up within two years after the land is finalised, closer to New Mangalore Port, said Campco Managing Director M. Suresh Bhandary. Similar ventures in neighbouring Kerala and Tamil Nadu are doing well, he said.

Mr. Satishchandra said 40% to 50% of the arecanut crop in coastal and Malnad region was destroyed following fruit-rot disease (kole roga) during the three-month torrential rain. Campco has sought special package for farmers from the Central and State governments.

Meanwhile, to address shortage of skilled labour for areca plantations, Campco will offer training to those interested. Arecanut growers are facing shortage of skilled labour for spraying and plucking activities.

Campco, whose annual general meeting is scheduled for September 29 in Mangaluru, has recorded an all-time high turnover of ₹1,742 crore in 2017-18, Mr. Satishchandra said, adding that the net profit was ₹41 crore. The Board of Directors has recommended 10% dividend to members.

During the year, Campco purchased arecanut worth ₹1,452.92 crore, cocoa at ₹55.75 crore and rubber at ₹48.87 crore.

                                   

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