Farmers face 'acid' test

Bunched-up trouble: Farmers show grapes and tomato plants harmed by the use of gibberellic acid at a press conference in Chikkaballapur recently. Karnataka Milk Federation Director K V Nagaraj is also seen. DH photo

Farmers have demanded action against companies manufacturing poor quality gibberellic acid that has affected grapes and tomato plants.

The problem has caused losses to the tune of crores of rupees, they told at a press conference held here recently.

Karnataka Milk Federation director K V Nagaraj and others were present on the occasion.
Gibberellic acid is widely used in the grape-growing industry as a hormone to induce the production of larger bundles of and bigger grapes. It is also used by tomato growers for the same purpose.

A gram of acid is mixed in 40 litres of water and bunches of grapes are dipped into the solution. Dark ring-shaped spots and lines emerge on the grapes after a gap of 8-10 days, said Nagaraj.

Negative impact

Every year, farmers use the same acid. This time, however, the grapes have been harmed.

People are not willing to buy the produce due to the dark spots and lines. The grapes are being grown in hundreds of acres in the district and crop has been affected in places where farmers have used the gibberellic acid, he added.

The farmers of Kanajeenahalli, Patrenahalli and others villages are the worst-affected but are in no position to seek compensation, said Nagaraj, who added that even the tomato crop had been adversely affected.

Examination requested

The farmers urged the officers of the horticulture department to examine grape and tomato crops and also the acid in their laboratories.

The manufacturers of the poor quality acid should be identified and punished, they said.
The farmers later submitted a memorandum to the officers.

Farmers K A Venkata Reddy, Anand, K Narayanappa, P K Babu, Govardhan, Dinnur Murthy and others were present on the occasion.

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