Cardamom growers of Sakleshpur have urged the State government to waive the crop loan they owe the Primary Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank (PCARD), estimated to be around Rs. 6 lakh.
A delegation of the Hassan District Planters’ Association met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru on Saturday and submitted a memorandum. Sakleshpur MLA H.K. Kumaraswamy also accompanied the delegation. M.H. Prakash, honorary secretary of the association, on Tuesday told The Hindu that cardamom had been cultivated in parts of Hassan, Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu districts. “Cardamom cultivation has suffered a hit following pest attacks. While those in other districts could shift to alternative crops, growers in Vanaguru, Attihalli and Hongadahalla in Sakaleshpur taluk could not as the areas are not suitable for coffee due to the high rate of rainfall,” he said.
According to the association, a couple of cardamom growers committed suicide unable to bear the burden of increasing debt. “We have got information that two farmers committed suicide because of losses suffered in cardamom fields. Once upon a time, cardamom growers were considered to be rich farmers. Now, they are in trouble,” Mr. Prakash said. In an officers’ meeting, a few month ago, Kumaraswamy, MLA, had said that cardamom growers in his constituency were applying for below-poverty line cards.
The association is hopeful the government would consider their demand positively.
‘Cardamom cultivation has suffered due to pest attacks, lack of alternative crop’