Hit by severe yellow leaf disease (YLD) on their arecanut plantations, farmers who switched over to oil palm cultivation in Sullia taluk have now gathered to float a company to promote it and other farm products.
A group of farmers who held two rounds of discussion to this effect recently have decided to launch the company, tentatively on March 9. An office of the proposed company would be opened in Sullia town on February 5, its president designate K. Vasanth Rao told The Hindu .
The company would be formed under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. The section speaks about forming a non-profit company with all the scope of a limited company but not with a suffix ‘limited’. Currently the process of forming the company was under way and a draft of the Memorandum of Association (MoA) has been prepared.
It would have nine directors who have been selected. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has come forward to support the activities of the company through financial support and guidance, Mr. Rao said.
Oil palm in the State
The State government, through an order on January 4, 2012, appointed Godrej Agrovet Ltd. for promoting oil palm cultivation in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi under a Centre-sponsored scheme. The planting had begun in the same year.
According to an official of the company, 65 hectares (160 acre) of land had been brought under oil palm in Sullia taluk by 100 farmers till November 2014. Some palms have begun flowering.
Limitations of scheme
Mr. Bhat said that under the Central scheme, a farmer would have to cultivate oil palm on a minimum of one acre to get subsidy and other benefits. But the proposed company would aim to enable farmers who wanted to plant palms in smaller numbers — such as five or 10 — or in less than an acre.
Other objectives would be to promote value added products of fruits, arranging link between food processing industries and farmers, reaching villages where Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Union Ltd. has not reached to promote the dairy industry due to transportation issues, and promote new agro-based income generating activities.
The company aims to help farmers who want to plant oil palms in less than an acre
In Sullia taluk, 65 hectares of land is under oil palm cultivation by 100 farmers till Nov. 2014