Palm--a promising crop for farmers

Palm--a promising crop for farmers

Palm--a promising crop for farmers

When paddy failed to ensure them a stable income, farmers slowly drifted towards commercial crops like rubber, ginger, turmeric, plantain and others hoping to have better and stable income. However, now there are couple of farmers who have switched over to cultivating palm. Here is the experience of one of such progressive farmers who opted for palm over other commercial crops. Janakiram, a progressive farmer of Shettikoppa in N R Pura says that growing palm when everyone else went for other commercial crops has not let him down.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, he said that palm, a crop from West Africa is today grown over 160 hectare land in the taluk alone.  Palm gives highest yield when compared to all other crops which provide edible oil and yield is available within 3 years of planting the sapling. Each plant produces crop persistently for 30 years. With the demand for palm oil increasing, the produce is fetching good price as well. Any other crop can be planted as mixed crop along with Palm.

Government facilities

Once the suitable land is selected for cultivation of palm, government provides palm saplings free of cost. Fertilisers are provided to farmers at subsidised price for three years of planting.  Subsidy is available for farmers to install drip irrigation to palm grooves. The farmers can avail 50 per cent subsidy for installation of diesel pump sets for the groove spreading over 2 hectare land area.

Alternate uses

Janakiram says that once the palm starts yielding by 7 years the yield will reach a profitable level. Apart from the oil, other parts of the plant too is commercially valuable. The leaves of palm can be used for manufacturing manure. It can be used for production of soaps, shampoos, candle, manufacturing paper, ropes etc. There are 7 processing and storage unit in the taluk.

Labour problem

Janakiram says that at a juncture of time, when farm workers are not available, palm comes as a blessing for farmers. “There is not much of farm work if you grow palm. Further there is great demand for palm at the international market. Hence the future too seems bright for palm,” he says.

At present a company named Balaji Oils from Bhadravati has taken incharge of palm crops. At present the palm seeds cost Rs 5 per kg and the rates are expected to improve. All in all palm seems to be a promising crop for farmers at present situation when paddy fails to fetch an adequate income and when other crops are being destroyed by diseases. For details contact Block Officer N Manjunath :  9901665117 or 9448154367