The Karnataka Agriculture Price Commission has stressed on the need for the establishment of an arecanut board on the lines of the Rubber Board and Coffee Board. In Karnataka, Arecanut is cultivated as a garden crop whereas, in Kerala, except in Kasargod and Cannanore Districts it is grown in almost all the tracts of land adjoining the paddy fields or coconut gardens. However in recent times, due to the dependable price of Arecanut, scientific farming is undertaken in Kerala and Karnataka. The formation of a separate board, on the model of the existing boards for coffee, rubber, and spices, was a long standing demand of farmers.
TN Prakash Kammaradi, Chairman of the commission, said the Karnataka government will soon submit a proposal to the Centre seeking the establishment of an arecanut board. On the need for such a board, he said the Bagalakote-based University of Horticultural Sciences, which conducted a study on the arecanut sector, has suggested the need for the establishment of such a board.
A board will help ensure stability in the arecanut market besides focussing on research and development activities. As of now, there is a lack of accurate market information. The biggest of the arecanut co-operatives in Karnataka has only around 10 per cent of the total share in the arecanut market. A neutral board constituted by the government will help ensure stability in the market during a crisis.
He said that the State government would soon submit a proposal to the Centre on the need for the establishment of a national-level arecanut board to tackle different issues related to the sector and to bring stability into the market.