‘Company has earned a profit of Rs. 3.52 crore in 2007-08’
Cocoa production in AP is 2,500 tonnes a year
Annually, India produces 10,000 tonnes of this crop
MANGALORE: The Government of Andhra Pradesh has requested the Mangalore-based Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Ltd (CAMPCO) to procure cocoa beans from the farmers of that state. The organisation is seriously considering this request, according to its president S.R. Rangamurthy.
This is viewed as a welcome development since the company has just wiped out a huge loss accumulated since 1990-2000 and earned a net profit of Rs. 3.52 crore in 2007-08.
Addressing presspersons here on Monday, Mr. Rangamurthy said that Andhra Pradesh produced 2,500 tonnes cocoa, annually. It was mainly grown in West Godavari and Nellore districts. Farmers in Krishna district had turned to this crop recently. “We are drawing plans to start procuring cocoa beans from there,” he said.
Mr. Rangamurthy said that the CAMPCO had plans to start procuring rubber from farmers in Karnataka and Kerala.
An amendment to the bylaw of the cooperative to this effect had been approved at the general body meeting held on September 20. Steps would be initiated to obtain permission from the Rubber Board, he said.
The company proposed to install a new plant exclusively to produce chocolate chips, an ingredient in ice cream. The demand for this product was increasing by the year and the company’s plant at Puttur in Dakshina Kannada was not able to meet the demand. Plans were afoot to utilise the entire capacity of the Puttur unit by next year. Only 80 per cent of it was being utilised till now, he said.
Mr. Rangamurthy said that the company earned a net profit of Rs. 3.52 crore last year after wiping out all the accumulated losses. He attributed this change over to factors such as stability in the prices of areca nut in the past two years, increase in volume of business, cost control measures and better marketing strategy.
The Indian industry needed about 30,000 tonnes a year vis-À-vis the average annual production of 10,000 tonnes. The world production of cocoa was about 38 lakh tonnes a year. Suggesting the over one lakh members of the company to start growing more cocoa, he said: “It is a lucrative venture as there is a wide gap between production and demand.”
“The share capital of CAMPCO is Rs. 16 crore. We returned the shares of Karnataka and Kerala governments worth Rs. 4.65 crore in 2005,” he added.