CAMPCO asked PM Modi to stop importing arecanut as India can produce enough.
The Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campco) Ltd has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop bringing arecanut into the country.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President of Campco Kishore Kumar Kodgi talked about how imports affect the domestic arecanut industry. He said that India can produce enough arecanuts to meet its own needs.
He said that arecanut imports are still going strong, which is making the domestic arecanut market unstable and causing farmers a lot of trouble. He also said that huge amounts of arecanut are imported both legally and illegally by road, air, and sea.
He said that arecanut has an import duty of 108% and a minimum import tariff value of ₹251 per kg. He also said that it is being illegally smuggled into India from Myanmar through Silchar, Assam, and Falakata, West Bengal. From these places, the good is sent by rail and road to Nagpur, Kanpur, etc., and is sold on the market for between ₹250 and ₹260 per kg.
Brought in as millets
Reliable sources say that ‘arecanut comes into our country guise as millets through Chennai International Airport and also through Mundra Airport in Gujarat,’ he wrote in the letter.
Concerning the import of arecanuts through sea ports, he said that a huge amount of arecanuts have been taken in at the Mumbai Port by pretending to be dates. Even though there is no arecanut production in Dubai, it is strange to hear that a shipment from there has been cleared at Mumbai Port. He also said that large amounts of arecanut have been cleared at Kandla Port and Tuticorin Ports.
Using the above information, he said that it is clear that a lot of arecanut is brought into the country legally. ‘Even though there are ways for a lot of arecanut to sneak into the country illegally, the exact amount can’t be calculated,’ he said.
He asked the Prime Minister to tell the right people to look into the possibility of a total ban on arecanut imports. He said that this would give domestic farmers more power and help the ambitious “Aatma Nirbhar Bharath” programme.
The minimum price of a tariff
Based on how much it costs to grow arecanuts right now, Campco also suggested that the Government raise the minimum tariff value for importing arecanuts from the current ₹251 per kg to ₹360 per kg.
In 2018, the minimum tariff value was changed to ₹251 because it cost ₹250 per kg to grow the plant. After this, the domestic market had gotten better.
He said that all prices have gone up and that the cost of growing things has gone up. In the letter, he explained that the price of copper sulphate, which is used in arecanut plantations as a fungicide, has gone up from ₹190 per kg in 2015 to ₹340 per kg now. In 2015, the cost of labour was about ₹450 per kg. It is now about ₹650 per kg.
He said that the current cost of growing a red variety of arecanut was ₹409 per kg and a white variety cost ₹360 per kg. Also Read | MP’s claim on Areca nut ‘shocking’, misleading Areca farmers – CAMPCO.
‘Right now, it’s important to point out that a lot of imported arecanut is flooding the domestic market. So, Kodgi said in his letter to the PM, we ask you to tell the people in charge to send a new notice through the DGFT setting the minimum tariff value at more than ₹360 per kg based on the current cost of cultivation.’