A day-long workshop was held on Thursday here to advise farmers to grown sandalwood instead of eucalyptus, which has earned a reputation for consuming vast quantities of water.
Sandalwood, which requires less water, yields high returns, farmers were told. The workshop was organised at the T Chennayya Rangamandira in the City. It was attended by cultivation experts, sandal growers, scientists and elected representatives.
During the programme, district In-charge Minister R Varthur Prakash and Malur legislator S N Krishnaiah Setty explained the benefits of growing sandalwood. Deputy Commissioner Dr D S Vishwanath, who made the introductory speech, listed the problems caused by the cultivation of eucalyptus in a district like Kolar, which continues to face grave water shortages.
Retired professor Bhaskar also went into detail about the problems posed by growing eucalyptus, and Anantapadmanabh, the international sandal cultivation advisor, lectured on the finer aspects of growing sandalwood.
Dr V Nachegowda, dean of the Horticulture College, spoke about the mixed cultivation of sandalwood and horticulture crops. V S Venkatesha Gowda explained the role of Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL) in the cultivation of sandalwood and Dr Y T N Reddy, a scientist, spoke on the rejuvenation of old mango trees using improved varieties.
Two sandalwood growers, Sriram and Ramaiah, also shared their experiences with other farmers.
The workshop, which was jointly organised by the district administration, Forest and Horticulture Department and the KSDL, saw a rush of registered farmers who sought sandal saplings which were being sold at Rs 1 each.
Horticulture Department Deputy Director Kadiregowda welcomed the gathering. Rudresh B Adarangi was the master of ceremony.
Deputy Forest Conservation Officer C Munegowda, Assistant Forest Conservation Officer Puttanna, Additional Deputy Commissioner R S Peddappaiah, Zonal Forest Officer Ramakrishnappa were present during the meet.
Out of 25, 2 borewells work
There are 25 borewells around Kolaramma tank, but water is available only in two borewells. Just like eucalyptus, weeds have absorbed the water from the land.
These weeds have spread all over the area, making it difficult to see where the borewells are located.
Work on removing the weeds is to proceed in a week, using 16 earth movers, said the district In-Charge minister.
Setty takes DC to task
Malur legislator Krishnaiah hetty took Deputy Commissioner D S Vishwanath to task for not releasing money towards the supply of drinking water.
Varthur’s attempts to pacify the legislator failed and Setty demanded that the money be released as soon as possible.