Karnataka

Sops make ‘Nanjangud rasabale’ lucrative for farmers

Nanjangud rasabale - the most distinct variety of banana - grown in and around Nanjangud taluk in Mysore district. File Photo: M.A. Sriram

Nanjangud rasabale - the most distinct variety of banana - grown in and around Nanjangud taluk in Mysore district. File Photo: M.A. Sriram  

The area of cultivation of Nanjangud rasabale, a special variety of banana only in and around Nanjangud, is gradually expanding, thanks to National Horticulture Mission (NHM). The area under the crop had declined considerably in recent years.

With the Department of Horticulture registering Nanjangud rasabale in the Geographical Indications (GI) Registry in July 2005 to protect the fruit’s unique identity, a number of demonstrations and interactions were conducted in the villages of Nanjangud taluk to encourage farmers take up rasabale cultivation, which, according to department officials, was being grown only on about 30 hectares of land.

Of late, farmers at Ambale, Veeradevanapura and Haginavalu villages in the taluk have shown interest in keeping the fruit’s identity alive, taking up its cultivation, although not on a big scale.

Under the NHM, Rs. 7,500 subsidy is provided for rasabale cultivation for first crop and Rs. 4,500 for the second. Since the crop is said to be suitable for cultivation under drip irrigation, 75 per cent subsidy is provided for establishing drip irrigation facility for cultivation up to five acres of land and 50 per cent subsidy for cultivation up to 12.5 acres of land.

Prone to pest attack

“Farmers are apparently apprehensive about rasabale cultivation since it is more vulnerable to panama wilt, a soil-borne disease, than other plantain varieties such as yelakki and pacchbale (chikkibale). Nevertheless, efforts are on to popularise its cultivation, holding training programmes and demonstrations for farmers in the growing areas,” said C. Nagaraj, deputy director, Horticulture, Mysore.

He told The Hindu that the area of cultivation of rasabale has not risen like other fruits such as chiku and mango under NHM in the district. Farmers are getting more returns and yield growing yelakki and pacchbale unlike rasabale because of factors like panama wilt disease and yield. Although rasabale gives more return, farmers still prefer other varieties because of these factors.

Yelakki variety of banana gives good returns and therefore farmers are preferring to grow it. Nevertheless, efforts to popularise rasabale variety are under way providing subsidy and recommending measures to overcome disease and low yield.

Training

Senior assistant director of horticulture Manjunath Angadi said demonstration on horticulture crops, including rasabale, are conducted on a plot at Krishi Vignana Kendra in Suttur Kshetra which hosts training and workshops for farmers of the region.

“There is little improvement in the area of cultivation because of the ongoing efforts,” he informed.

Cultivation through organic methods, prevention of injury to root, drip irrigation and so on are stressed among farmers to ensure disease-free and high-yield rasabale crop, Mr. Angadi added.

Joint Director of Horticulture (Biotechnology) Shivakumar told The Hindu that the department had decided to introduce more schemes to increase the cultivation of rasabale. Since it was an area-specific crop, farmers should come forward and the department would support them, he said.

“The crop is at present grown in about 25 to 30 hectares of land around Nanjangud since the cultivation area declined because of increase in paddy cultivation following irrigation facility,” he said.

Those visiting Nanjangud do not miss to savour the town’s trademark rasabale and also take them home too for its distinct taste. A rasabale could cost around Rs. 3 in Nanjangud and Rs. 3 to Rs. 4 in Mysore.

Staff Correspondent adds

Devarasanahalli in Nanjangud taluk is the village that made Nanjangud rasabale a popular variety because of appropriate growing conditions available there. The village was once a major supplier of rasabale.

Even in villages such as Kaarya, Tagadur-Hanumanthapura, Kumbarahalli, Hullahalli, Ambale and Hadinaru of the taluk, the crop was grown extensively. But in the last few years, most farmers in the villages gave up ‘rasabale’ cultivation for various reasons, including ‘Panama Wilt’ disease and change in crop pattern due to irrigation facility from Kapila Right Bank Canal, according to local people.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 4:58:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Sops-make-lsquoNanjangud-rasabalersquo-lucrative-for-farmers/article16837719.ece

Next Story