Horticulture department advises farmers on smart agri methods

Horticulture department advises farmers on smart agri methods

A team of officials from the Horticulture Department have been meeting plantain growers of Mysuru district to instil confidence among them, after a few farmers razed their banana plants, due to crash in banana prices.

A farmer of K Hemmanahalli had used tractors to destroy G9 banana variety (Pachabaale) grown on 20 acres of land. According to him, he had spent more than Rs 20 lakh for cultivating the crop, but was shocked to find that the produce will not even fetch him Rs 2 per kg.

When Deccan Herald contacted Anand, Managing Director of Horticultural Produce Cooperative Marketing Society (Hopcoms), he said, their continuous efforts to educate the farmers of the region has been neglected, resulting in the current crisis, where the market price of banana has crashed to Rs 2 per kg. Crop rotation plays a major role in safeguarding the farmers and also maintain fertility of the soil, he added.

He said the officials have met the farmer who destroyed the crops and found that he has harvested 75 per cent of his yield. The remaining 25 per cent could not be harvested due to labour problems, he added.

Instead of completely razing down the plants, the farmer could have cut the stems and could have retained the saplings for the next season. He had cultivated G9 variety of banana on the whole of 20 acres. Instead, he could have grown Yelakki variety on 7.5 acre, G9 variety in 7.5 acre and other fruits and vegetables in the remaining area and could have prevented losses, Anand said.

The Hopcoms has fixed Rs 5.50 per kg for G9 variety of bananas for the benefit of farmers and the department has been stressing on organic farming, Anand said.

Agreeing that the production of plantain is three fold compared to the previous years, he said bananas were earlier transported to Coimbatore. Since there is a record production in Coimbatore this year, the prices have nosedived resulting in huge losses to the farmers across the State, he added.

The farmers opt for G9 variety as their maintenance is low, compared to yelakki and Nanjangud rasabale, which are risky and easily infected by pests.

Chamarajanagar

The situation is similar in Chamarajanagar. The G9 variety banana, which was grown in large areas and transported to Bengaluru, Tamil Nadu and other places have been affected this year, mostly due to unpredicted rain that lashed Chennai and other places. This is also one of the reason for the crash in prices. Moreover, people hesitate to eat the fruit during this season, as it is supposed to trigger ailments.

With the government extending financial help to the farmers to grow banana, more farmers have taken up banana cultivation in the district.

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