Organic farmers a big hit at Lalbagh exhibition

Organic farmers a big hit at Lalbagh exhibition

Farmers from Haveri attending the Agri Biodiversity Mela  at Lalbagh, unwittingly found themselves turning into the stars of the show.

Health-conscious Bangloreans thronged their stalls to purchase organic millets and by-products, believed to be ideal in addressing chronic disorders such as hyper-tension and diabetes.

Many farmers, like Channabasappa Shivappa Kombali, from Karkola in  Ranebennur taluk of Haveri district,  were proud of their produce.

Each group has ten committee members, who in-turn are responsible for ten farmers from villages like Nedunegalu in Hirekerur taluk, Doddagubbi, Yedgod, Battikoppa and Nesvi.

The groups re-introduced farmers to organic farming and encouraged them to cultivate crops such as chillies (a rare Byadgi variety), toor dal, groundnuts, several varieties of millets like Foxtail, Finger, Little, Proso, Pearl, Barnyard, Browntop and Kodo millets.

“These farmers have processing units and are converting these crops into byproducts, which are high in demand as seen at the mela,“ explained Krishna Prasad, convenor of the Sahaj Organics, the group which organised the event.

Most of the millet products included soji, mixed flour, laddus, chaklies and other products. “Our most prominent product is a multi-grain flour which is a mix of 13 grains  including wheat, millets and pulses — which can be used for making chapathis, roti, poori and dosas. It is in demand because it is also high in nutrients,” said Shivayogi Makri, a farmer and member of the group.

The mela aimed at informing people about the importance of crop diversity. Hundreds of medicinal plants commonly found in the rural areas were also on display.

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