Coffee grower community expresses ire as AP gets 4 members
After a delay of two months the Union Commerce ministry has revamped the Coffee Board by adding 30 new members from various parts of the country.
Bengaluru: After a delay of two months the Union Commerce ministry has revamped the Coffee Board by adding 30 new members from various parts of the country. But the inclusion of new members to the Board has evoked resentment among coffee growing community of the State. Speaking to The Hans India on Saturday former Vice President, Coffee Board Dr Sannuvanda Kaverappa, a native of Napoklu in Kodagu said that the union government has unnecessarily given more prominence to Andhra Pradesh for unknown reasons. He added that though Andhra Pradesh's coffee production is restricted to just 10-12 thousand tonnes per annum it has 4 members in the newly formed Board.
On the other hand Kodagu alone which accounts for 30 per cent share in the nation's total coffee production has just one member. Karnataka,, which contributes a total 70 per cent of the nation's coffee production has been given less representation in the Board. He said under instant coffee segment this time the membership was given to Andhra-based entrepreneur. Earlier it was filled by a Karnataka member.
Kaverappa said usually North Eastern states were given one membership for IAS officer category but this time two IAS officers from NE were made members. He said the coffee growers of Kodagu are feeling that under the regime of NDA government the tiny district was completely neglected.
He said during 2007-2009 when he was member of Coffee Board the district was given a total of five memberships. Kushalnagar of the district has become hub of coffee processing units and during UPA tenure a membership was given to coffee processer from Kushalnagar. But after NDA came to power the membership to Kodagu got restricted to just one.
Speaking to The Hans India, Dr Mohan Kumar, Karnataka Growers Federation (KGF) which is the largest small coffee growers organisation of the state said that the Union Commerce ministry had asked KGF to name the small coffee growers to be included in the Board. 'We had sent 7 names, two each from Kodagu and Hassan and 3 from Chikmagalur district. But none of the 7 names were selected for membership. He said the ministry humiliated us by not selecting at least one member from our list and said that even we have sent a name of progressive woman coffee grower from Hassan district. Now there is no woman member in entire 30-member Board.
He further said that the ministry has given unnecessary prominence to Andhra Pradesh (AP) by appointing a total of 5 members. He said under coffee trader quota the board gave one membership to AP , under small coffee growers quota AP was given two members but previous board had no trader from AP and one member was from small grower category from AP. He said this time IAS officers from Nagaland and Assam was given membership but in previous board it was just one for north eastern states. 'The board has given much prominence to non- traditional coffee growing states which does not promote coffee as the climatic condition doesn't suit for coffee' felt Kaverappa.
This year Mysore Kodagu MP Pratap Simha was selected from MP quota. When contacted Coffee Board Chief Executive Officer K G Jagadeesha informed that it is the Centre's decision and government may have aimed to put more effort on increase the production of coffee by appointing more members from non-traditional areas. He declined responding on less representation to Karnataka.