From groundnut to cowpea cultivation

Groundnut cultivation is an expensive proposition, thanks to the many issues involved, from seeds procurement to manure, harvesting and labour. Also, during the summer months, there is the problem of water shortage. This has resulted in many farmers bidding adieu to groundnut cultivation, and taking up cowpea cultivation, instead. The latter can easily be harvested in a couple or so months, and is easy to cultivate.

There was a time when the North Karnataka regions of Haveri and Ranebennur had acres and acres of groundnut crop. Compared to cowpea, groundnut is not a short-term crop. It takes at least four months for the crop to reach the harvesting stage. Also, it needs water. Most wells in the region have gone dry, and the borewells have also been depleted. Then, there is the problem of power shortage. Also, groundnut seeds and manure are a big expenditure. For every acre of this crop, one has to spend at least Rs 8,000 to 10,000. However, cowpea is a low-risk crop. More and more farmers have taken to cultivating it now. It should be noted, though, that groundnut is an important crop, thanks to its oil-producing seeds. It should not be allowed to be fully wiped away. Farmers should realise the importance of balance.

R S Patil

Gokarna: The soul of Shiva

Gokarna got its name from its lovely location set amid the (cow’s ear- shaped) confluence of Gangavali and Aghanashini rivers. Also, according to mythology,  Gokarna is the soul of Shiva (atmalinga) who emerged from patala (netherworld) and created the holy go (cow) karna (ear) kshetra. The temple town finds mention in the ‘Raghuvamsha’ of Kalidasa and it is said to be the same place narrated in the popular Sanskrit play ‘Nagananda’ attributed to King Harsha. Sixty km from Karwar, Gokarna is known to be a most preferred destination for pilgrims and  holiday makers alike. Surrounded by pushkaranis (holy ponds) and ancient temples of Umamaheshwari, Shankaranarayana, Varadaraja,Kali, Krishna, Venkataramana and Kalabhairava, the pilgrim town Gokarna is, however, mainly known for its famous Mahabaleshwara  temple housing the deity of atmalinga which, according to mythology, was brought from Kailasa by Ravana. Located in a picturesque region, the pilgrim town is surely heaven for beach lovers.  
The most visited Kudle beach and Om beach apart, there are other two less crowded  ‘half moon’ beach and ‘Paradise’ beach located nearby.

S V Upendra Charya