Crashing ginger price makes farmers weep

Most of the farmers who had planted ginger in hope of getting good income when their conventional crops failed are today repenting over their decision.

Though the ginger crop could escape the clutches of rot disease, fall in price of ginger has left the growers high and dry. The condition of those farmers who had sown ginger crops taking loans from money-lenders and banks is miserable.

Most farmers are already in despair. They say that whatever it is they want to throw ginger out of their land and then leave their future to destiny.

Mainly grown in Malnad region, ginger once fetched Rs 1,000 per bag. Seeing this, the growers in plateaus and other areas too took up ginger cultivation. Without any difference, ginger seeds were sown in fertile land, which was well suited for paddy cultivation.

Today, ginger, which had entered the region from Kerala is prominently grown in Chikmagalur, Shimoga, Hasan, Mysore, Chamarajanagar and nearby areas. In Chikmagalur, most of the paddy cultivated lands have been converted in to ginger fields. In Malnad there are several instances of coffee plantations being bull dozed to plant ginger. At present, the cost of ginger per bag is Rs 290 to Rs 320.

It is estimated that Ginger has been planted on 3,500 to 4,000 hectare land of which over 1,000 hectare land has been taken on lease by planters from Kerala and other
States to cultivate ginger.Horticulture Deputy Director Shakeel Ahmed informed that ginger has been grown as mixed crop in most of the plantations in the district and this year the department estimated production of one lakh ton of ginger.

“I had taken 30 acre land on lease and planted ginger investing Rs 65 lakh. Of this total investment, I could earn back only Rs 31 lakh while Rs 34 lakh has been lost”.

 “Last year I earned an income of Rs 30 lakh deducting all expenses,” says Dummagere Chandre Gowda.With ginger price crashing down the farmers have been left with no option but to prayer for some miracle to happen so that they could at least reap back the money they have invested on ginger.

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