Though the jasmine plantation project which was undertaken in the year 2009-2010 did not bring smile on the faces of all growers owing to lack of interest from growers side and disease prone plants, the department has envisaged a clear cut plan to make the project a success in the days to come.
Accordingly, the Department has decided to develop a fertile garden in the vicinity of small land holders, wherein 10 varieties of plants including mango, sapota, coconut plants, curry leaves and vegetables will be planted in 10 cents area, which will be further developed by planting 30 jasmine plants to fetch economy to the growers family. Digging out agricultural pits and construction of brushwood fences around the garden would complete the prescribed task.
“We have formed an immaculate plan to encourage MGNREGS beneficiaries to adopt sustainable form of development. The trial version of the project gave out a mixed response previous year, as the programme resulted in an overwhelming outcome in some of the places, especially in Moodbidri and Bantwal regions, while it was let down in few places. Irrespective of the earlier success or failure, the Department has decided to come up with the project in a big way this year,” says Bantwal taluk Horticulture Department Assistant Director Sanjeev Naik who is also the in-charge of Mangalore taluk horticulture works.
Expenditure & profit
Explaining about jasmine plantation under MGNREGS, Sanjeev Naik said that it requires 45 man days work to develop a fertile garden in an area of 10 cents. An interested grower can work in his own land for 45 days and then must work in others field for rest of the 50 days. Planting banana plants, coconut and other vegetables provides self sufficiency, while planting and maintenance of 30 jasmine plants entails for an expenditure of Rs 5,000-Rs 6,000. “Jasmine is a quick yielding plant and a grower can reap its fruit within 6 months of plantation. If everything goes well, then a jasmine grower can yield Rs 1,000 from each plant on a yearly basis, i.e. an annual income of Rs 30,000 can be easily fetched by the cultivator,” informs Naik.
Nurturing of jasmine plants is not a herculean task as it can be well fed with compost prepared out of cow dung and groundnut. The manual labour required to manage the plants is also fewer and it can be tackled by the family members themselves. Sanjeev Naik informed that growing jasmine is a rewarding job as the grower can complete post reaping work in the early morning and then can carry on with his other works. “It adds an additional income to the land holder,” he says.
The department has decided to distribute plants in backward places like SC/ST colonies in different parts of the district so as to encourage the land owners to be self sufficient. The Department has already kept its first move in this regard by distributing plants to 145 Koraga community members. “We have 12,000 plants in store which will be distributed to 250 and odd families in a near future. At the end of the day, we would look out for blossoming of famous ‘Udupi jasmine’ in Dakshina Kannada district and a satisfaction on the faces of small growers,” wishes Naik.