Karnataka

Branding and marketing of agri products by tribals in the offing

Tribals living around Veeranahosahalli will be encouraged to grow spices and horticultural crops to shore up their income.  

The tribals of Nagapura, on the outskirts of Nagarahole National Park in Hunsur, will soon vie for a slice of the market for spices and agricultural and horticultural crops cultivated by them, in a move that will shore up their income.

As part of an initiative to empower them financially, the State government has conceived a blueprint to facilitate the marketing and branding of agricultural and horticultural crops, besides spices such as turmeric, ginger, and black pepper cultivated by the tribals.

This entailed the creation of a tribal farmer-producers’ organisation, which was inaugurated by Social Welfare Minister B. Sriramulu in Hunsur on Thursday. The organisation is mandated to provide value addition to the farm output from Nagapura and Veeranahosahalli region in Hunsur. The members will be supported by various government agencies.

Conceived during the middle of the lockdown in June by the then Principal Secretary of Social Welfare Department, Kumar G. Naik, this is reckoned to be the first such organisation of tribals in the State and will receive financial and other institutional support from the government to make it competitive. It is similar to farmer-producers’ organisations whose members are farmers and cater to their interests.

The long-term plan is to develop Veeranahosahalli and Nagapura as a “model tribal agricultural village” with funding from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India. If successful, it will be replicated in other tribal areas of the State.

There will also be a thrust on dairy farming and floriculture so as to diversify the opportunities for revenue generation. A technical team comprising agricultural scientists have identified the crops suitable for cultivation in and around Nagapura and Veeranahosahalli where Adivasis have been living after their relocation from Nagarahole almost 25 years ago.

In all, 731 hectares of land belonging to the Adivasis will be brought under the project, and spices and agricultural and horticultural produce will be marketed domestically to start with. “In the days ahead, we can look forward to the branding of ginger and turmeric something on the lines of Araku coffee of Andhra Pradesh, while in the second phase pepper cultivation can be taken up,” said M.B. Prabhu, an activist working for the welfare of tribal communities in Veeranahosahalli.

Also on the anvil is a warehouse to store the produce, for which the government will release funds. The project will move away from conventional agricultural crops such as paddy and sugarcane, and the nearly 280 tribal families in Nagapura will be encouraged to cultivate crops suitable for the area. Mr. Sriramulu, who also visited Pakshirajapura, opined that the herbal oil prepared by the tribal community should also be branded to create a market for it and empower the stakeholders financially.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 6:34:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/branding-and-marketing-of-agri-products-by-tribals-in-the-offing/article33207427.ece

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