Ginger spices up Malnad

Hasiru Sene expresses worry over the trend

With ginger seeming more viable to the farmers, it is seen that even the younger generations who had migrated from the villages to cities in search of greener pastures are returning to their homeland.

At one age, ginger used to be confined to Malnad alone. But now the ginger has spread it fragrance to plateau too, thereby witnessing massive spread of ginger cultivation.

In N R Pura, vast agriculture land has been covered with ginger crops. Kadur, Tarikere, Sakharayapatna too are the areas under ginger cultivation. Sringeri, Koppa and Kalasa has comparatively lesser areas under ginger cultivation.

A large number of farmers who were cultivating paddy in Mudigere and Chikmagalur have this time sown ginger seeds. Apart from the local farmers, one can also see large number of people who have migrated from Kerala, taking land on lease to cultivate ginger.

Back home

The youth who had migrated to Bangalore and other bigger cities, hoping to find some job to make a living are seen back in the villages, thanks to ginger. Now that these youth learnt that ginger is a viable business, most of those who once bid adieu to the village as well as farming are back to try their luck.

Raghu, who worked in a bakery in Kerala for the last 10 years has made a come back to Kunduru, his native. He has sown 40 bags of ginger seeds. “If the luck is on my side then
I  am hopeful of earning my five year’s salary as bakery worker in one year of ginger cultivation,” says Raghu.

A V Manjunath has come back to his village Banavara after having toiled in a factory in Bangalore for several years. He has sown ginger seeds in 2 acre land near Banavara. Even he hopes to make good profits with ginger this year.

Coverage

Deputy Director of Horticulture Department Shakeel Ahmed says that ginger is being cultivated over 3 hectare in the district, which are all mainly irrigated land. The cultivable land is expected to be augmented by another two hectares or so because there are equally good number of farmers who are waiting for the monsoons. He said that paddy of Rs 40,000 can be grown on an acre but in case of ginger, a farmer can reap 400 to 500 bags of ginger on the same area of land. Each bag costs up to Rs 1,000. In such a case, a ginger grower can conveniently earn up to Rs 4 lakh for his produce, which is far higher than what paddy can earn them.

Affect

With possibility of earning big money, the farmers are automatically drifting towards ginger. Unfortunately, excessive ginger growth is visibly having adverse affect on the environment.

Contamination of flowing water is the major threat posed by ginger cultivation. Even the population of fishes and amphibian is depleting, say Hasiru Sene District President H K Shashidhar.

He says that ginger cultivation required huge quantity of pesticides and insecticides, which not only has an impact on human health but also reduces the fertility of the land.
The members of the organisation, who are not for excessive cultivation of ginger, say that farmers should think twice before plunging into ginger cultivation because though the crop can bring them some instant money, it will ruin the land the environment forever.

They say that instead of using chemical fertilisers and pesticides, the farmers should think of cultivating ginger using ‘Palekar’ method of organic farming.

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