This progressive farmer from Ankola taluk of Karwar district, who bought 18 acres of barren land 13 years ago, has not only turned it into a green patch that yields an annual income of Rs. 80 lakh but has also inspired farmers with his innovative experiments in farming. As a mark of respect to his farm innovations, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, on Monday honoured him with the Dr. M.H. Marigowda State-level Best Horticulture Farmer Award. But the 63-year-old Poornanand Venkatesh Bhat, who received the award, is not in a position to celebrate, though the dignitaries showered lavish praises on his achievement. This is because his 18-acre farm, which has become an integral part of his life, is set to be acquired for the Karwar Naval Base.
“I am shocked because this is the second time that such a thing is happening to me. Once earlier, my farmland had been acquired for the Naval Base. After that I had bought this piece of land,” he told The Hindu.
He alleged that he was yet to get proper compensation for the earlier land that was acquired from him.
Mr. Bhat submitted a memorandum to Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda urging him to take up the matter with the Centre to save his land.
“Only three years ago, I asked my sons, who were holding very good positions in their companies, to quit their jobs and take up farming. Now, the notice regarding acquisition has come like a nightmare to me,” he says. He will submit a memorandum to the President seeking his intervention, he adds. Known for innovations, he has managed to stop the backwaters of the sea from joining a fresh water stream by building a wall made up of mud, stone and coconut fronds so that the water is available for farming. His farm that has coconuts, areca, nutmeg and pepper has become a learning place for not just farmers but also scientists from the universities in different States.