Bedi elected Chairman of the Karnataka Planters Association (KPA) : 2015 – 2016
Baba P.S. Bedi has been elected unanimously as the Chairman of the Karnataka Planters Association (KPA) from 2015 to 2016, at the Annual general meeting held in Bangalore on November 19th, 2015.
Dr M. M Chengapa was unanimously elected to the post of Vice Chairman of the Karnataka Planters Association for the year 2015-16.
Baba P.S. Bedi brings to KPA 25 years of work experience in the plantation industry practices, agronomy and estate management. A third generation coffee planter, whose father Tika A.S. Bedi was the Chairman of the Karnataka a Planters Association in 1969-70, and President UPASI 1973-74 and grandfather Col Bedi was the last Chief Commissioner of Coorg state.
Karnataka produces nearly 2,50,000 tons of coffee out of which Arabica amounts to about 75,000 tons and Robusta 1,75,000 tons.
In addition, plantations have unparalleled biodiversity with complex symbiotic relationships and are excellent examples of ecological balance that provide a haven for wildlife conservation. They sustain a unique ecosystem of endemic flora and fauna that can only be found at plantations. Coffee plantations provide corridors for migrating birds to move from forest fragments, attract and support economically valuable pollinators, provide an environment for eco-system services such as stabilising and replenishing soil nutrients, storing carbon and a haven for wildlife.
Given the fragility of the production systems and that coffee is a globally traded commodity, subject to cyclic upswings and downturns, it exposes the producers to enormous risks. Planters however continue to developed on a system of modern labour management for migratory labour as well as for workers that are tied to families for generations as permanent workers. They bear the social costs and provide workers with shelter at the plantations, sickness and maternity benefits, health, entitlement for leave with wages and Provident Fund. Women are employed along with men at plantations and there is no gender based discrimination in wage payments.
A keen sportsman, Baba Bedi has represented India in Skeet Shooting at the Afro Asian Games, SAF Games, at the Commonwealth Games at Melbourne and Glasgow and at various World Championship and World Cups and is responsible for promoting shooting as a sport in Karnataka by being instrumental in starting the Chikamagalur District Rifle and Shotgun Association.