Udupi, Feb 13, 2020: The cultivation of the famed Udupi Mallige and another variety of jasmine, Jaji Mallige, have now come under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme in Udupi district.
According to the Department of Horticulture, there are about 8,000 jasmine cultivators in the district. Udupi Mallige is cultivated on 116 hectares in the district. Of this, 68 hectares are in Udupi taluk, 45 in Karkala taluk, and three hectares in Kundapur taluk. The yield per hectare is 7.44 tonnes and the return is Rs. 10 lakh.
Jaji Mallige is sparsely cultivated in the district. While Udupi Mallige is predominantly being cultivated in the Shirva-Shankarpura belt, some farmers also cultivate Jaji Mallige along with it. “Jasmine is the only perennial floriculture crop in the district,” said Guruprasad, officer, Department of Horticulture.
But the farmers have to be job card-holders under MGNREGA to get the benefit. If any farmer wants to cultivate jasmine saplings, they will get money for the labour component and material component under the MGNREGA.
If a farmer with job card wants to cultivate jasmine saplings on five cents of land, he would get Rs. 5,925 under MGNREGA for it, including Rs. 2,345 as labour component, and Rs. 3,581 as material component. The benefits of this scheme are also available for 10, 25, 50, and 100 cents of land.
Presently the cultivation of jasmine is concentrated in some pockets in the district. “With the MGNREGA scheme, the cultivation of jasmine could get extended to other parts,” Mr. Guruprasad said.
Ramakrishna Sharma, president of the Udupi Mallige Belegarara Sangha, said that the MGNREGA scheme will help new farmers taking to jasmine cultivation.
“As I see it, the problem is in getting job cards from Panchayat Development Officers (PDOs). The government should also simplify procedures so that farmers are not inconvenienced,” he added.