Resolve issues with Kannadigas, Pratap Simha tells CFTRI

Resolve issues with Kannadigas, Pratap Simha tells CFTRI

'Ensure sustainable market for chia and quinoa'

Member of Parliament from Mysuru-Kodagu Pratap Simha, on Monday, asked CFTRI, Mysuru, Director Ram Rajasekharan to resolve the issues with Kannadigas.

Addressing a gathering during ‘Make in India in Food Processing-initiative by CSIR-CFTRI’, the MP said, there was a trust deficit about the CFTRI among Kannada-speaking people. The institute should create a healthy atmosphere for researchers and its employees.

There is a dispute between the CFTRI authorities and its Kannada-speaking employees.

The MP said, the office that housed the Kannada Sangha has been closed down after the issue. The issue has been brought to the notice of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and union ministers. If the issue is not solved amicably, Director Ram Rajasekharan should take the responsibility for the wrath of Kannadigas. The CFTRI was doing good, but, in recent days, its activities have come down. The scientists should come up with innovative works, he said.

Speaking about chia and quinoa foodgrain introduced by the CFTRI, the MP asked the authorities to ensure a sustainable price and market before promoting them. Taking the example of vanilla, he said, a large number of farmers cultivated vanilla crop, but, finally ended up with debt due to unsustainable market. So, such products should not push farmers into a debt trap, he said.

Erappa, a farmer from H D Kote, who was present in the programme said, chia is a good supplement crop for sugar cane or ragi and gives good profit compared to other crops. “I have been cultivating chia on two acres of land and I am getting good yield, since two years. This time, I have sold it for Rs 24,000 a quintal. These are short-term crops while sugar cane needs more than a year, he said. Raita Mitra Farmers Producing Society, in Mysuru, buys the products.

Speaking on the occasion authorities of Raita Mitra said, the crops were suitable to be grown in Mandya, Ramanagar, Periyapatna and other places. As they belong to ‘tulasi’ family, no cattle consumes it and is also easy to maintain, they said. The authorities urged the CFTRI to instal a processing unit at Mysuru campus. At present, the products are sent to Hyderabad and other states for processing. The farmers also gifted chia and quinoa to  Union Minister Harsh Vardhan.