MANGALORE: The Union Government does not have a single scheme on areca farming, but is thinking of research on alternative uses of arecanut, said Calicut Arecanut and Spices Directorate director Tamilselvan.
At a seminar organised by the CAMPCO and the Arecanut Research Foundation at Sharada Vidyalaya here on Wednesday, he said that areca growers have been hit by various diseases and natural calamities for the last 15 years. Meanwhile, the price of arecanut has also fallen whereas production has increased. However, the Union Government is only supporting research on the alternative use of arecanut, he regretted.
Arecanut farmers also need to be made aware about the alternate uses of arecanut, he said adding that many farmers suffer from lack of knowledge in producing quality areca and on the proper use of fertilisers and pesticides.
He said the country produced 72,000 tonnes of arecanut last year, in which only 25 per cent was used for supari. The percentage of arecanut exports has also come down to 50 per cent and only 2,400 tonnes of arecanut is exported.