Multi-state cooperative Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (CAMPCO) Ltd is planning to branch out and procure additional horticultural crops to help farmers of the region. Campco, which has presence in Karnataka and Kerala at present, primarily procures arecanut, cocoa, and rubber. Campco has now set its eyes on procuring pepper and coconut, according to its president Konkodi Padmanabha.
Campco has released Pooga Singar, deodorant beauty soap, a research product of agriculturist Badanaje Shankar Bhat in Manglore on Wednesday, Padmanabha said, “We will have to amend our existing by-laws to facilitate this aim.” The by-laws in all likelihood would be amended at the annual general body meeting of the cooperative scheduled for September this year.
In another move aimed at reducing its dependency on grid power for its chocolate factory in Puttur, Padmanabha said Campco would set up another windmill of 2.1-MW capacity at Chikkodi in Belgaum district by end of the current fiscal.
Campco in 2009 had commissioned a windmill of 1.25-MW capacity at Halthimalapura in Hoovinahadagali taluk of Bellary district. The initial plan was to set up the second windmill before October this year.
The proposed windmill would generate around 40 lakh to 42 lakh units of power a year. The first windmill that started operation on March 31, 2009 generate 25 lakh units of power in 2009-10 and 21 lakh units in 2010-11. The chocolate factory requires 72 lakh units of power a year. Campco would supply the power generated to the state grid and obtain a pre-arranged quantum of power as per existing norms from the local grid at Puttur, he explained.
The cooperative has also set itself a target to produce 17,000 tonnes of chocolate products from its Puttur unit by the end of March 2012. Campco produced 13,000 tonnes of chocolate products in 2010-11 and sold semi-finished and finished chocolate products worth Rs 150 crore to the market.
A farmer-cum-researcher, who had earlier made wine and soft drinks from arecanut, has now come up with more value-added products such as toilet soap, mouthwash and skin ointment.
P. Shankar Bhat Badanaje’s discovery assumes significance in the backdrop of a looming threat of a down fall for the arecanut market, following an interim order of the Supreme Court banning the sale of gutka, pan masala and tobacco in plastic pouches from March, 2011. As arecanut is prominently used in gutka and pan masala, growers are worried over the consequences of this order on the market.