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Tarikere farmer has 1,800 sandalwood trees to his credit

Last updated: 22 May, 2009
Farmer with a difference 23:33 IST

DH News Service,Tarikere:

This is the story of a ‘phoenix’ who rose from the ashes. This is, in fact, a success story of a youth who has shown that “where there is a will, there is a way”.
There is no farmer in Tarikere - a semi-Malnad area - who is not admired by areca. Areca is the breath of the people here. Tarikere without areca is unimaginable. There are people who had a happy life by growing areca. There are also people who lost everything by doing the same.
T N Vishukumar of Dorenalu village was earning a revenue of more than a lakh per year by growing areca in an area of 4.22 acre. But he could not save his plantation due to the severe drought that hit the region in between 2002 and 2005. He also incurred a loss by growing pacholi, stevia and aloevera.
Vishukumar who knew that agriculture in India is a gamble with monsoons, decided to make up his loss by growing sandalwood, teak, mango, sapota, coconut, silver tree and the like.
Usually, farmers grow something expecting annual income. If one grows areca, he should wait for 8-10 years for the yield (income). However, Vishukumar grew survey trees which provide Rs one lakh income per acre in a span of four years. He also grew silver trees which again provide Rs 10 lakh income per acre in a span of 10 years.
Usually, teak and sandalwood are rain and climate based trees, and hence, Vishukumar thought of growing teak which value more than two crore in 20 years and more than 10 crore in 30 years. By growing them with ‘zero cultivation’ and ‘zero management,’ he has emerged a model farmer.
Now, he has 1,800 sandalwood trees, 1,800 teak trees, 3,600 silver trees in his farm, besides a nursery consisting mango, vanilla, sapota, areca, teak, sandalwood, coconut, silver and survey plants.
People from various corners of the State are coming to Tarikere and feel amazed of Vishukumar’s achievement. They are now looking forward to grow sandalwood by getting both information and plants from him. Many people have already ventured into the task.
However, many have doubts whether government permits to sell the sandalwood trees once they are grown up or how to get permission to prune them. Answer is here: Sandalwood trees were the property of the government some years ago, but now the rule has changed. As per the Section 108 of the Karnataka Forest (Amendment) Act 2001, sandalwood tree grown in a specific land is the property of the owner of the land. Hence, anybody can grow sandalwood without any apprehensions, he says.
The State government is giving subsidy to grow sandalwood through State Medicinal Plants Authority and Horticulture Department. Those who are willing to grow sandalwood can avail loans up to Rs 30 lakh from nationalised and rural development banks.
Interested may contact: T N Vishukumar, Hajimastan, Kemmannugundi road, Kodicamp, Tarikere taluk, Chikmagalur district. Mobile: 97391-21848; E-mail: sandalvishu@gmail.com.

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