Farmers urged to cultivate sandalwood, high-value crops

Kavitha Mishra speaking in Hassan on Sunday.

Kavitha Mishra speaking in Hassan on Sunday.  

The residents of Heragu village near Hassan, on Sunday, made use of the Ganesha festival pandal to spread awareness among the farming community on sandalwood cultivation. Kavita Mishra, noted sandalwood cultivator and progressive farmer from Raichur district, delivered a talk on sandalwood cultivation and appealed to farmers to take up cultivation of high-value crops.

Heragu Vasudev, former president, Hassan Zilla Panchayat, and other progressive farmers of Heragu village invited Ms. Mishra for an interaction with farmers during Ganesha Chaturthi. The pandal where a Ganesha idol was placed was converted into a stage for the programme on Sunday evening. Hundreds of people from neighbouring villages participated. The event prompted the audience to recall how Balagangadhar Tilak utilised the Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations to mobilise people for the freedom movement.

Ms. Mishra, a BE graduate, narrated her story of cultivating a barren land at Kavitala in Raichur district. “I had an offer to work in a software company for a monthly pay of ₹40,000. But, I could not report to duty as my family members were opposed to it. Later, I took up the challenge to cultivate the barren land of eight acres,” she said.

Her struggle and hard work paid off. Now she has grown more than 2,100 sandalwood, 800 teak and 400 mango trees among many other varieties.

Stating that cultivating sandalwood was profitable, she appealed to farmers to take up sandalwood cultivation. “The soil in parts of Hassan is suitable for sandalwood. By growing the trees one could earn in crores after 14-15 years. We farmers do not get retirement benefits or pension. We should plan our agriculture such that we get benefits in bulk after certain years of hard work. Cultivation of sandalwood would be one such option,” she said.

Doddamagge Rangaswamy, a progressive farmer from Arkalgud taluk, who has cultivated sandalwood on 150 acres of land, said cultivating sandalwood was not a problem, but protecting it from thieves was. “The State government and the police should come to the rescue of sandalwood growers,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 4:24:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/farmers-urged-to-cultivate-sandalwood-high-value-crops/article24962969.ece

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