From here & there

From here & there

A holiday for Malpe’s fishermen

The boats at Malpe have fallen quiet. After hectic fishing activity all year round, the boats seem to be on a holiday.

Now, there is no frenetic scouring of the seas, for there is a holiday for mechanised deep sea fishing till August 15. Owing to this, the fish market is dominated by fish from neighbouring states, and the prices have shot up.

So what if there’s no fishing? A lot of other activity is going on at the Malpe harbour. Fishermen, who find themselves free from fishing for a while, are busy building boats. There is a workshop where boats are being built. Giant structures akin to dinosaur skeletons welcome you once you enter the workshop. There are structures that are 60-70 feet tall, and are going to transform into boats.

After the woodwork is completed, and painting done, an iron fan is affixed to a tip of the boat. Then, comes the engine.

After all this, the boats are made more attractive, with some of them housing a small room or two. The boats built here cost anywhere between Rs 30 and 35 lakh. A large boat takes as long as two to three months to be built. Tens of labourers work here. As many as 50 boats are built here in a year.

Boats constructed here are sent to Mangalore, Honnavara, Shirur and several other places in the coastal region. There are contractors who look exclusively into boat construction in the region. Those who buy boats send them into the seas, only after performing the requisite rituals and offering prayers. Typically, 30 to 40 fishermen get onto the boats and set out to the seas, coming back with a rich haul of fish.

The Malpe harbour had, at one point, 500 boats. Today, that number has shot up to 1200. The harbour is growing, and there is not enough space. The government should develop the port, says Malpe Fishermen’s Association President Hirianna.

As many as 25,000 people along the state’s coast depend on fishing for their livelihood. Also, there are people from other districts, and from neighbouring states who depend on activities that support fishing, in the region.

Ramakrishna Sidrapal

Honge saplings for Davangere farmers

The Honge tree is the lifeline of many a farmer, for it finds many uses. Its green leaves serve as manure, while, it can produce oil and fuel. 

Now, the Davangere district administration has decided to give a boost to farmers who grow Honge, under the employment guarantee scheme.

Accordingly, the administration has kickstarted planting of honge saplings in the region. As many as 15 gram panchayats in the Harapanahalli, Jagalur and Davangere taluks have been chosen for the same.

Three lakh saplings grown in the social forestry department and the regional forest departments have been distributed to farmers in Davangere taluk’s villages.

There is a provision to use at least 20 per cent of the grants under the rural employment guarantee scheme, towards forest development.

The honge sapling distribution is a step towards utilising this provision optimally, says Deputy Commissioner K Amaranarayan.

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