Chrysanthemums fail to blossom in Hemmady

Chrysanthemums fail to blossom in Hemmady

Pesticides prove ineffective, say growers

The bright yellow flowers galloping to the tunes of warm breeze is a wonderful feast to the eyes. In-fact this panoramic landscape was a reality until last year.

However, the same bright yellow flowers called chrysanthemum flowers grown in Hemmady of Kundapur taluk is under massive destruction bringing out tears in the eyes of farmers and wiping away all those bloomy picture following the infest of mite disease in this season.

The knee-level chrysanthemum growth covers almost nearly around 80 to 100 acres of land in Hemmady. The chrysanthemum flower which is popularly called as “Sevanthige” in Kannada had rooted its identity along with Shankarpura Mallige for which the district has sealed its popularity.

These chrysanthemum flowers are called as “Hemmadi Sevenathige”. The growth also covers some of the area in the neighboring village Katbelthur. These flowers make livelihood source for around 100 to 150 farmers in the area.

However, the scenario is entirely tragic during this year as the farmers who were dependent on this horticulture crop are totally under loss flowing the pest infest into the crops. Farmer Kusta Devadiga who has nearly one acre of Sevanthige growth told Deccan Herald that the crop is under loss.

The destruction has come flowing mite disease. We approached the agriculture and horticulture department. However, the medicine and pesticides given by them proved to be ineffective. Most of the medicines seem to be futile, he added.

Farmer Ananda Ganiga said that the crop is the main source of livelihood for most of the people in Hemmady.

“We are worried as we are not able to get a single yield from the crop this year. The buds are not blossomed fully besides even if it comes out of the twig, the flowers turn out to be black losing all is original charm.

“Even if we pluck, it will wither within few seconds. A kind of small white ants are found in abundance. The entire growth is spoiled.

We are at distress as our income source is lost. Even if we spray medicine for two times a week too, we are not able to get rid of the ants. The Hemmadi Sevenathige has a wonderful history of nearly 80 years and this phenomenon is new. It never happened earlier,” he added.

In-charge Senior Assistant Director of Horticulture Kubera Reddy Neelavannavar said that the department is in constant examination of the crop.

Officials are sent to test the affected saplings. Various types of pesticide are provided. Besides, the Brahmavar Zonal Agriculture Research Center scientists have made three to four camps in the area to research over the disease. Attempts are made to cure the disease affected saplings, he added.

The flower with unique aroma is grown only in this area. The soil pattern of the land is instrumental in providing the uniqueness to these flowers. The shape of the flowers is quite different from other chrysanthemum flowers. The saplings are usually grown in three crops which need nearly six months to grow and blossom.

The growth being a winter crop, the seeds are sown in the month of August for first crop, in September for the second crop and in October for the third crop respectively. The farmer can get the yield for the first crop in the second week of January. Consequently, the other two crops also start yielding flowers.

The market value differs and the flowers are in huge demand in the places like Karkala, Mangalore, Honnavar, Shimoga, Bhatkal and Kumta.

However, the major share of the growth is marketed in Maranakatte village, which is a religious center.

Especially during festive occasion, the Hemmady Sevanthige will have a huge market in Maranakatte. The farmer would end up with selling nearly 13 to 14 crores of flowers in Maranakatte.