60-year-old B.S. Shantaveerappa and his wife B.S. Pushpa were small-time entrepreneurs in Bharamasagara of Chitradurga district who had just taken to farming casually by planting areca saplings on their ancestral land of 3.27 acres. But a visit to Mysore inspired them to become full-time farmers when they happened to taste Nanjangud rasabale.
“We were fascinated by the distinct taste of the banana and inquired about that exotic variety with the shopkeeper. We went to Nanjangud to get some saplings. But we were shocked as we could not get even a single sapling there. We were directed to the UAS-B’s Plant Tissue Culture Lab,” says Mr. Shantaveerappa.
“We took about 1,000 saplings from the university and planted in between the two-year-old areca plants. We followed organic method of cultivation and opted for drip-irrigation, which gave us a good yield. Though people started flocking to our farms to buy the loose fruits, we sold the entire standing crop at Rs. 6 lakh to a merchant,” he noted.
According to him the total expenditure incurred by them on cultivating these fruits was about Rs. 80,000 including the cost of saplings. “We have earned a profit of about Rs. 5.2 lakh from the fruits. The profits further increased as the farmers in our area bought even the banana suckers for Rs. 35,000,” he says, while pointing out that a large number of farmers now want to take up cultivation of Nanjangud rasabale.
His wife, a physically challenged person who played a crucial role in taking care of the banana cultivation, is thrilled by this and is keen to experiment further with agriculture.