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    HomeTelanganaImmediate withdrawal of arecanut import order demanded by farmers

    Immediate withdrawal of arecanut import order demanded by farmers

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    India has started importing 17,000 tonnes of raw betel nut from Bhutan, which is causing distress for arecanut farmers in the state. The central government made the decision to import without setting a minimum import price, leading to anxiety among arecanut growers in Uttara Kannada district. Farmers are worried that the influx of foreign betel nuts will lower prices and harm their interests.

    The arecanut market is now uncertain, as the government’s decision has caused unease among growers. The market in Sirsi has already seen a significant drop in prices. Farmers are outraged and are calling for the withdrawal of the import order. The importation of areca nuts from Bhutan is seen as a direct threat to the indigenous areca nut industry, despite a lack of demand.

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    Karnataka is a major producer of arecanuts, accounting for over 35% of the country’s production. The state has seen a 20% increase in production over the past three years. Arecanut cultivation is widespread in districts like Shimoga, Uttara Kannada, and Dakshina Kannada. It has also expanded to other regions in Karnataka and other states.

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    Previously, there were regulations in place that set a minimum import price for arecanuts entering India. However, this protection has been breached by the decision to import from Bhutan without imposing the minimum import price. Importing from Bhutan also poses challenges due to the lack of ports, resulting in higher transportation costs. Experts argue that Bhutan’s arecanut industry is new and the quality of their nuts is subpar.

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    Farmers are not against foreign imports but believe that appropriate taxes should be imposed. Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh have thriving arecanut industries and are self-sufficient in production. Only when there is a shortage should imports be necessary. The current situation seems to favor imported arecanuts, causing concerns among local growers.

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    Farmers are pressuring the central government to reconsider the import decision. The long journey for container-filled arecanuts to reach their destination raises the risk of rotting nuts, affecting their quality and viability. This adds to the hardships already faced by farmers. Efforts are being made to oppose the import of areca nuts and put pressure on the central government.

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    Hegde, President of the Hill Nadu Agricultural Development Society, stated that it is difficult for farmers to get good quality arecanuts. They are taking action to oppose the import of areca nuts.

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    Rajesh M
    Rajesh M
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