<b>XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, <i> Session II (Winter Session) </i> </b>
XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, Session II (Winter Session) Tuesday, November 30, 1999/Agrahayana 9, 1921 (Saka )


Type of Debate: SPECIAL MENTION
Title: Demanded an urgent action towards the mice attack on the coconut cultivation in Kerala.

TEXT :
SHRI V.M. SUDHEERAN (ALLEPPEY): Sir, coconut cultivation in Kerala is in a very serious crisis due to mite attack. The mite disease seems to be spreading at an alarming rate. It is estimated that about five crore palms of ten lakh farmers are already affected by this pest called mite which causes severe yield reduction. This may lead to extermination of coconut species and ruin the agricultural economy of the State.

Though remedial measures have been taken by the State Government to combat the mite's problem, they are not effective due to paucity of funds. Since coconut cultivation is the backbone of the agricultural economy, it is high time that we take all efforts which are humanly possible to eliminate the mite pest. Considering the menace of mite as a national calamity, the Central Government should come forward to help the State of Kerala by sanctioning a Central Government's share of Rs.100 crore for the remedial operations. Since it is a very sensitive issue, I request the hon. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs to comment on this.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: On this issue, Shri Krishnadas has also given a notice. Now, Shri Krishnadas.

SHRI A.C. JOS : I have also given a notice yesterday. ... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: I will go according to the list and time at which it is given. Why do you not hear me? If you have also given, you will get your chance after him. It should be according to the serial number. What is this? Shri Jos, you are a former Speaker of Kerala. How am I to control this House?

SHRI N.N. KRISHNADAS (PALGHAT): Sir, the coconut crop in Kerala has become a victim of a pest known as mite. It is causing extensive damage to that crop. More than five crore of coconut palms of more than ten lakh farmers have already been affected. The Government of Kerala is striving hard to control this mite problem in our State. ... (Interruptions) What is it that they are doing? ... (Interruptions) Sir, the Government of Kerala has submitted a memorandum to the Union Government for getting proper assistance. Coconut cultivation is the backbone of agricultural economy of Kerala. The mite menace has threatened the very foundation of the State's agriculture. So, it may be considered as a national calamity and the Central Government may sanction at least Rs.100 crore for this mission to protect the coconut crop, through the Coconut Development Board.

SHRI A.C. JOS : All the hon. Members from Kerala are unanimous in this matter. It is a very serious matter and I associate myself with the sentiments expressed by Shri Govindan, by Shri Krishnadas and also by Shri Sudheeran. My only request is this. There is a Coconut Development Board in Kerala. ... (Interruptions) Sir, there is a Coconut Development Board. ... (Interruptions)

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MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Please take your seat.

... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Please resume your seats.

... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Nothing will go on record.

(Interruptions)*

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Why are you standing again? I have called Shri Jos.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI A.C. JOS : Sir, it is a real menace to the State of Kerala. The agricultural economy of the State of Kerala is under peril. The Coconut Development Board has submitted a proposal to the Government of India - this is what I understand - for sanctioning an amount of Rs.195 crore. Unless the Central Government gives that money, that menace cannot be controlled. So, I request the Parliamentary Affairs Minister to support the agricultural economy of Kerala State which is under peril.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri Kishan Singh Sangwan.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI P.C. THOMAS (MUVATTUPUZHA): Sir, I have also given my name. ... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri Kishan Singh Sangwan.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI KISHAN SINGH SANGWAN (SONEPAT): Yes, Sir. I am speaking. ... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri Kishan Singh Sangwan.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI KISHAN SINGH SANGWAN : Yes, Sir. I am on my legs. ... (Interruptions)

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---------------------------------------------------------------

* Not Recorded

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MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Will you please sit down?

... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Yes, you are helping me, I know.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI RAJIV PRATAP RUDY (CHHAPRA): But, they are not helping you, Sir. ... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Let me tell you that there are 26 names in the list.

... (Interruptions)

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MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Nothing will go on record.

(Interruptions)*

SHRI P.C. THOMAS (MUVATTUPUZHA): Sir, you are also aware of it.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: I know that.

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* Not Recorded.

SHRI P.C. THOMAS (MUVATTUPUZHA): Sir, I would like to supplement what is said earlier. This is not a problem in Kerala alone. ... (Interruptions) Sir, at the outset, I would like to say that this is not a problem of Kerala alone. This is a national problem. It is soon going to affect Lakshadweep; not only Lakshadweep but also other places where there is coconut cultivation. It is a menace which is spreading. Whole coconut cultivation is going to be devastated or completely destroyed.

This is a disease which has to be fought by all of us together -- the farmers, scientists and the State Governments concerned. It cannot be done only by the State Governments. In this matter the role of the Government of India is very important. The Government of India should immediately send a team of scientists to find a remedy to this problem. Till today no solution has been found. Of course, the Government of Kerala has done something in this regard. I am not saying that the State Government has not done anything. But the State Government of Kerala has to do more and the Central Government should extend all support. ... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: All the hon. Members from the State of Kerala are associating themselves with this issue.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI P.C. THOMAS : We would like to have a discussion on this matter. ... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri P.C. Thomas, please resume your seat.

... (Interruptions)

THE MINISTER OF PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS AND MINISTER OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN): Sir, I would like to assure the House that I would convey the feelings expressed by the hon. Members of Kerala and other States to the hon. Minister of Agriculture. ... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri E. Ahamed, what else do you want?

... (Interruptions)

SHRI P.C. THOMAS : We would like to have a statement from the hon. Minister of Agriculture. ... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri P.C. Thomas, you are a very senior Member. You should understand that even during `Zero Hour' the hon. Minister has reacted to your demands.

... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri Kodikunnil Suresh, please do not interrupt.

... (Interruptions)


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