Former Prime Minister and JD(S) National President H D Deve Gowda urged the State government to exert pressure on Union government to announce a special package to bail out coconut and arecanut growers who are in dire straits due to drought and pest attacks.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, he said drought and pest attacks have ruined the lives of lakhs of arecanut and coconut growers in the last three years.
"Instead of waiting for a report, both State and Union governments should come to the rescue of these farmers. The arecanut and cononut growers belong to various communities and it is the duty of the governments to respond to their problems and announce the compensation suitably," he said. According to him, the Centre already announced a special package to mitigate their problems and the State government should exert pressure on it to implement it.
He urged the State government to constitute district-level committees to study the damage caused to both crops and send it to the Union government for releasing the compensation immediately.
Gowda said he spoke to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in this regard. In response to his plea, Pawar, he said, sent two teams headed by Union Horticulture Department Commissioner Dr Ghorak Singh to study the situation.
One team visited Mysore and Mandya districts and another team is touring Tumkur, Hassan and Chikmagalur districts, he said.