Seminar on coffee on December 13

Madikeri: A seminar on coffee will be organised by the Rotary Club of Kushalnagar at Kushalnagar on December 13, convenor of the seminar P.K. Devaiah said here on Friday.

Addressing presspersons here, he said experts in different areas related to coffee would address growers and growers’ organisations on issues such as labour problem and its implications, producing quality coffee being sold as branded products, coffee prices, producing speciality coffee, effects of plantations on ecology, and finance schemes offered by banks.

Certain resolutions would be passed during the seminar urging the Centre and the State Government to find solutions to the problems being faced by the coffee industry, he said. Of the 5.45 lakh population of Kodagu, there were nearly two lakh growers and an equal number of workers associated with the coffee industry.

No one could ignore this section which depended on coffee in Kodagu, Mr. Devaiah said.

Chairman of the Coffee Board G.V. Krishna Rau would inaugurate the seminar at 9 a.m. at Veeranadu resorts near Kushalnagar. Nanda Subbaiah, former chairman of the Codagu Planters’ Association, C.G. Kushalappa, professor, College of Forestry, Ponnampet, and experts from the Indian Institute of Coffee Management would speak.

Chairman of the Rotary Kushalnagar S.K. Satish said that coffee was the second largest traded commodity in the world, next to oil. On an average, 350 trees were grown by growers on an acre of coffee plantation in the district, which accounted for preserving the environment. Growers were resorting to shade-grown coffee cultivation and the government should encourage them by giving incentives.

A crash in the prices of coffee could lead to indiscriminate felling of trees grown by planters, Mr. Satish, said.

Fluctuating markets, increased wages of workers, berry borer and stem borer pests and different interests of producing and buying countries added to the woes of growers in the past decade, Mr. Satish said.

The experts would suggest remedies to the problems, he said.

Chengappa, Rotary member, was present.

 -The Hindu

Three in fray for Council poll from Kodagu

Three candidates are in the fray for the election to the Legislative Council from Kodagu.

Eight candidates had filed their nomination papers and five of them withdrew their papers on Friday, the last day for withdrawal.

Those contesting are T. John from the Congress, S.G. Medappa from the Bharatiya Janata Party and Kudiyara Muthappa, independent candidate.

M.P. Shuja Kushalappa, C.P. Gopal and G.L. Nagaraj of the Bharatiya Janata Party and H.S. Ashok and S.P. Mahadevappa, independents, withdrew their nomination papers on Friday. It is said that M.P. Appachu Ranjan, Madikeri MLA; M.P. Sunil Subramani, president of the Kodagu Bharatiya Janata Party unit, and Ravi Kushalappa, general secretary of the district unit, have convinced Mr. Kushalappa to refrain from contesting in the election in interests of the party and the decision of the party leadership.

Mr. Kushalappa said on Thursday that he would not withdraw from the contest.

 -The Hindu

BJP members unhappy over confusion created by rebels

Madikeri: Office-bearers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from the Chettalli local committee in Somwarpet taluk on Friday threatened to “vote for a candidate of their choice” in the coming election to the Legislative Council from Kodagu following confusion in the party ranks over filing of nomination papers by the “rebels” in the party.

President of the Chettalli local committee Ballaranda Mani Uthappa told presspersons here that if the party leaders in Kodagu did not mend ways and show unity, the committee would have its own way. “All leaders of the BJP have committed mistakes,” he said.

His observations came in the wake of three “rebels” from the party filing nomination papers. Mr. Uthappa said that if anyone had the right to contest the election, they should be from the gram panchayat.

There were more than 1,233 members in 98 gram panchayats. Whereas none of the aspirants represented any local body in the district, he said. Mr. Uthappa, who also heads the Chettalli Janapara Horata Samiti, urged the BJP leaders to take the voters into confidence to ensure the victory of the party candidate. Carson Kalappa and M. Nanaiah, members of the committee, were present.

 -The Hindu

Seminar on coffee on December 13

Madikeri: Kodagu Technology Users Association (KTUA) has been formed to provide people with information on weather, education, agriculture, telemedicine, etc. The KTUA, set up a few days ago, proposes to gather various types of information from the automatic weather stations (AWS) of ISRO in Kodagu district and pass them on, apart from other functions.

The KTUA will promote awareness among the people of the district on weather, infuse knowledge about global warming and is pernicious effects, advocate the cause of reducing, and subsequently, banning plastics and measures to save flora and fauna, president of KTUA Kitty Devaiah told The Hindu.

The KTUA office will be located at Madapur in Somwarpet taluk initially. It will maintain a library of books, periodicals and other aids, both in print and electronic forms.

The KTUA would affiliate itself with any government or non-governmental organisation to achieve its objectives, Ms. Devaiah said. It would also enter into arrangements with government authorities and local bodies to carry out its activities. Honorary secretary of KTUA M.B. Bopanna says that information will be passed on through newspapers, electronic media, mobile phones and the Internet.

The former Vice-Chairman of the Coffee Board, N. Bose Mandanna, is the vice-president of KTUA, K.A. Ajith Appachu is the treasurer and Anil Ponnappa, K.S. Prakash and P.S. Appanna are executive committee members. ISRO has established 15 AWS in different parts of Kodagu and 10 more are on the anvil.

 -The Hindu

Panchayats urged to strive for Nirmala Grama Puraskar

The Director of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation wing of the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, Bore Gowda, on Friday stressed the need for speedy implementation of the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) to achieve progress at the rural, State and national levels.

He was addressing the representatives of 63 gram panchayats in the district, a press release issued here said.

He urged them to make preparations to qualify for Nirmala Grama Puraskar by meeting the TSC norms. There are 98 gram panchayats in Kodagu of which 18 had won the puraskar. Seventeen gram panchayats won the award a few days ago.

Emphasising the need to construct toilets, Mr. Gowda explained how defecating in the open affected health. The panchayats should have taken steps in this regard. Apart from this, disposal of solid waste should be ensured, he said.

The role of the elected representatives was crucial in ensuring the success of TSC, he said.

Mr. Gowda expressed the hope that 63 gram panchayats would qualify for the puraskar by March next. The best gram panchayat under TSC in every taluk would be given a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh each. The best panchayat at the district level would get a cash prize of Rs. 3 lakh, followed by Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 1 lakh, respectively, for the panchayats selected for the second and third places, he said. The panchayats winning the award at the regional level would get cash prizes of Rs. 5 lakh, Rs. 4 lakh and Rs. 3 lakh, respectively. Prizes at the State level were Rs. 10 lakh, Rs. 7 lakh and Rs. 5 lakh, respectively, he said.

Deputy Commissioner K.H. Ashwatha Narayana Gowda spoke. Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat Mirza Akbarulla and Project Director of the zilla panchayat Motappa were present. A documentary on sanitation was screened on the occasion.

 -The Hindu