APL families fuel horticulture crops

APL families fuel horticulture crops

 It is said that the horticulture crops have got a boost in the district after the APL families started taking up works under the Scheme to develop their lands to grow horticulture products.

This is evident by the ZP records which point at the increase in horticulture produce in the district and expansion in horticulture produce area.
Speaking to City Herald, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer P Shivshankar said that an additional 1,247 hectare of land areas has been utilised for cultivating horticulture crop using MGNREGS. Nearly 6,500 acres were covered in seven months (from September 2009- March 31 2010) under MGNREGS.

Over 3,000 acres of land came under banana, arecanut, coconut, jasmine, cocoa, cashew, pepper and Ivy Gourd (thonde kai) cultivation during 2009. Over 3,500 acres of land were brought under rubber cultivation during this period.
Individually, 388 acres came under banana cultivation, 1,100 acre came under arecanut cultivation. 304 acres under coconut, five acres under jasmine, 320 acres under cocoa, 690 acres under cashew, 106 acres under pepper and 178 acres came under Ivy gourd cultivation during this period.

Shivshankar said that these areas appended by horticulture crops are not demarcated with APL or BPL land but most of the private lands developed for horticulture are APL land employing BPL families. Hence, both the parties have been benefited by the project.
Working out the cost benefit part of it, he said that the possibility of making profits are much higher by cultivating horticulture crops.

Citing example of Ivy gourd, he said that Government contributes Rs 2,150 per acre for cultivation of Ivy gourd while the farmer is expected to contribute Rs 5,000 per acre. The yield expected per year is about 8 to 15 tonnes, which means that the farmer can earn about Rs 64,000 per acre by investing just Rs 5,000.

Similarly, the Government contributes about Rs 56,000 per acre for cultivating banana and the farmers contribute Rs 10,000 per acre. The yield expected is about 20,000 kg and with this a farmer can earn at least Rs 1 lakh per acre of banana with a minimum market rate of Rs 5 per kg.

Likewise, in case of banana and arecanut mixed farming, the Government provides Rs 51,000, while the farmer pools in Rs 10,000 making it a total investment of Rs 61,000. The yield expected is 5480 kg. With a minimum market rate of Rs 5 per kg, the family can earn Rs 27,400.

In case of jasmine too, government provides a sum of Rs 2,327 for developing 3 cents of land (30 plants).
Income expected from every plant is Rs 1,000 per year making it a net income of Rs 30,000.

The CEO is hopeful that the Scheme would continue to give boost to horticulture crops, leading to amelioration of rural people, preferably of the BPL families, in days to come.
Bhakti V Hegde

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