11th Plan to be approved on November 8, says Jairam Ramesh

Bangalore, Oct 30 | Updated: Oct 31 2007, 06:46am hrs
The 11 Five-Year Plan will be formally approved at the full Planning Commission meeting on November 8, minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Karnataka Planters Association here he said that the coffee sector has been allocated a sum of Rs 750 crore in the 11th plan (2007- 2012), up from Rs 300 crore in the previous plan.

Also, re-plantation in 70,000-80,000 hactares in coffee producing regions is proposed to be taken up.Ramesh said a new variety of coffee the first in 21 years is slated to be released in December, while sequencing of coffee genome has also been taken up to help understand it better.

Stating that labour shortage is going to be a major problem for the coffee industry, he said the coffee board had entered into an agreement with IIT Kharagpur to develop cost-effective, affordable farm machinery for small growers. Pruning, weeding, picking and various operations...we want to see whether we can actually mechanise, Ramesh said.