Field facilitators and specialists to be appointed to guide farmers

Cultivation of jackfruit, pineapple, cocoa, nendra banana and pepper is set to get a boost in Dakshina Kannada as the Department of Horticulture has formed 10 clusters of villages in the district to promote them.

Jackfruit, considered the most neglected fruit, has received the attention of the government for the first time. It will be promoted as a crop in a cluster of 30 hectares.

There would be a cluster of pineapple, two clusters each of cocoa and nendra banana and four clusters of pepper. Their cultivation would be promoted under Integrated Horticulture Development Scheme.

According to Pradeep D’Souza, Assistant Director of Horticulture, Mangalore, the department recently formed 10 societies of growers based on the clusters and registered them.

Each of the societies had been released Rs. 2 lakh as revolving fund.

Mr. D’Souza told The Hindu that Varanasi Halasu Belegarara Sangha had been formed for cultivating jackfruit on 30 hectares of land covering a cluster of Kepu, Manila, Peruvai and Punacha villages in Bantwal taluk.

He said that 139 farmers had been identified for growing jackfruit.

Farmers had been advised to plant jackfruit saplings as a plantation or take up border planting (in a row) in their agriculture land.

He said that pineapple would be promoted on 30 hectares of land in Beluvai cluster in Mangalore taluk by involving 40 farmers.

The Assistant Director said that cocoa cultivation would be promoted in Nelyadi cluster in Belthangady taluk on 32 hectares of land and at Markanja cluster in Sullia taluk on 35 hectares of land. In Nelyadi cluster, 75 farmers, and at Markanja cluster, 180 farmers would be involved in growing them.

Pepper would be promoted in Konaje cluster in Mangalore taluk, Panaje cluster in Puttur taluk, Bandar cluster in Belthangady taluk and Enmoor cluster in Sullia taluk.

Its cultivation would be promoted on 120 hectares of land by involving 350 farmers.

He said that there would be a field facilitator and a subject specialist appointed by the Department of Horticulturefor each taluk to guide the farmers in clusters.

Their services would be outsourced.

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