Merchants from Kerala provide money for cultivation and buy the produce
HASSAN: The cultivation of ginger, which was hitherto limited to Sakleshpur, Alur and Belur taluks in the district, is now gradually becoming popular in Hassan, Arsikere and Chennaraypatna taluks. Farmers use sprinklers to irrigate their lands.
Last year, farmers had a bad experience with potato, which was affected by blight. Hassan grows potato on 60,000 hectares of farmland every year and the produce is even sent to other States. Most companies that make wafers prefer potatoes grown in Hassan.
Merchants from Kerala have now begun investing in ginger cultivation in the district as it is not a viable proposition back home.
They pay farmers Rs. 25,000 for every acre of crop harvested and bear the entire cost of cultivation. The farmers are quite happy with the set-up as they get to make money without investing resources of their own.
Farmers in Harnahalli, Dudda and Bageshpura in Arsikere taluk who used to grow potato have now taken up ginger cultivation.
Similar is the case with farmers of Shantigrama, Chennaraypatna, Rajaghatta, Gavenahalli and surrounding villages in Hassan taluk. In Gavenahalli and Rajaghatta, the Government has issued a notification for acquisition of land for the proposed Special Economic Zone. Farmers whose lands are to be acquired have given out their lands for ginger cultivation, as they are not sure what will happen to them later. Heavy doses of fertilizer and pesticides are needed for the ginger crop. This reduces soil fertility.
Next year, farmers will not be able to grow any crop as the land will have to be left fallow for a certain period. Merchants from Kerala are on the lookout for new land to cultivate ginger as the produce fetches remunerative prices in West Asian countries.