Coffee planters want extension of ICDP scheme to corporate growers

By: | Published: November 18, 2015 12:05 AM

Coffee planters have urged the ministry of commerce and industry to extend the benefit of Integrated Coffee Development Project...

Coffee planters have urged the ministry of commerce and industry to extend the benefit of Integrated Coffee Development Project (ICDP) to medium, large and corporate planters so as to achieve desired objectives in the 12th Five Year Plan. They have also demanded speedy implementation of the scheme. Currently, the government has extended various schemes under ICDP to only small planters and restricted the corporate sector to a limited number of schemes.

In September last year, the government approved the proposal for the implementation of the ICDP scheme of the Coffee Board during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-13 to 2016-17), based on the recommendations by the Expenditure Finance Committee. The projected outlay of the ICDP scheme is R950 crore over five years.

“The implementation of the ICDP scheme is progressing at a snail’s pace. We have already completed three years of the plan period and the government has barely spent R130 crore out of R950 crore earmarked for the 12th Plan period. Also, the government has not included large and corporate growers under many schemes, thereby depriving them of the desired benefits,” K Kurian, chairman, Karnataka Planters’ Association (KPA), told FE.

He said the KPA has taken up the matter with the ministry of commerce and the Coffee Board, and demanded implementation of various schemes for the plantation sector. So far, the corporate growers have been included under schemes such as mechanisation, replanting and coffee processing among others with a cap on subsidy.

The corporate sector is deprived of availing the subsidy in other schemes such as water augmentation and quality upgradation programme that enables planters to protect environment in coffee areas and avoid pollution by adopting eco-friendly pulpers and market development among others. Corporate sector planters are facing huge difficulty in these areas, Kurian said.

“We have urged the ministry of commerce to make eligible all medium, large and corporate planters to avail of all the schemes announced in proportion to encourage and invite participation from all sections of growers,” he said.
India’s coffee plantation sector is largely managed by small growers, while the large and corporate sector growers contribute to 25% of the area under cultivation and 30% of the total production. Coffee is grown in about 423,000 hectare in the country. In 2014-15, India’s production stood at 327,000 tonne.

The main objective of the ICDP scheme is to develop improved varieties and technologies for increasing production, productivity and quality of coffee, to promote Indian coffee in overseas and domestic markets and encourage value addition to improve unit value realisation. Currently, the productivity of Indian coffee plantations is about 838 kg per hectare as against 2,187 kg per hectare in Vietnam and 1,257 kg per hectare in Brazil.

“We have to seriously increase our productivity for coffee plantations to be sustainable and remain viable. For this, bringing out high-yielding planting material which are disease resistant and drought tolerant varieties in coffee, following good agricultural practices mechanising our estate operations cutting unnecessary costs is absolutely necessary,” Kurian added.

SOS
* Coffee planters have urged the commerce ministry to extend the benefit of Integrated Coffee Development Project (ICDP) to medium, large and corporate planters to achieve desired objectives in the 12th Five Year Plan
* Currently, the government has extended various schemes under ICDP to only small planters and restricted the corporate sector to a limited number of schemes
* ICDP’s projected outlay is R950 crore over five years

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