'Economic surge should not affect identity of Kodagu'

District-level Kannada Sahithya Sammelana commences

'Economic surge should not affect identity of Kodagu'

Writer M G Nagaraj, the President of the seventh Kodagu district-level Kannada Sahitya  Sammelan addressing the conference  on Wednesday.  dh photo

Delivering the presidential address, at the seventh Kodagu district-level Kannada Sahitya Sammelan that commenced at Shanivarasanthe on Wednesday, he said the people who migrated to Kodagu should respond to the local sensitivities. If they build their own forts and do not mingle with the locals, they can not contribute to their land as well as life, he said.

 “The problems regarding the land, water, agriculture and environment of Kodagu. Though it has been thought that the problem of water is solved through the natural resources, problems of pure drinking water still persist in towns and villages.   Deforestation, encroachment and unlawful timber transportation have been major causes of concern,” he said.

Though improving ‘Devara Kadu’ (sacred groves) is one of the solutions, it should continue like a movement with social and administrative support. They should not be limited as ‘reserve forests’, instead they should be declared ‘reserve sacred forests’. Thus a cultural environment of Kodagu should be built, the writer urged.

In 1900, the then Commissioner of Coorg had identified a total of 755 sacred groves in the district. The number was reduced by 50 per cent in the last decade. Now, the rural people have started convincing the encroachers to vacate the land as a result of the awareness created by the Agriculture College and the gram pancayats. Thaltare Shettyhalli is a good example. It should be implemented universally, Nagaraj stressed.
Kodagu also faces problems in coffee production, price collapse, shortage of agriculture labour, decline in land fertility due to ginger cultivation. The demand for coffee is on an a steep increase in the world. In this backdrop, the growers should think of producing quality coffee. The ratio of Arabica and Robusta coffee in Vietnam was 70:30 which has become 62:38 in the recent days. This signifies increased demand for Robusta coffee. The growers should understand this and make use of modern technology to reduce the cost of production, he suggested.

The farmers of Kodagu should achieve self-reliance in agriculture in order to solve the problem of severe shortage of farm labourers. Awareness on this should be created among the people through various types of literature.

Educated  youngsters should be given the concept of farm culture. Even as they develop pleasure in the white collar jobs, they should be convinced about the emotional bondage with their family and its occupation, he advised.

Aesthetic response itself is the base and encouragement for literature. It moves upward when it flows among the people. The literature of the past is the core for the present and the future.

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