Mangaluru, June 05: With farmers in Dakshina Kannada increasingly facing water scarcity, H.R. Nayak, Deputy Director, Department of Horticulture, on Tuesday suggested agriculturists to opt for drip irrigation on a large scale.
Speaking at meet-the-press programme organised by the Dakshina Kannada Union of Working Journalists at Mangaluru Press Club, Mr. Nayak said that there is a wrong notion among some farmers that water should be fed to the entire arecanut plantation or to the vast area of a plantation crop. Actually, it is enough if water is fed to the root zone through drip irrigation. Opting for drip irrigation will save between 40% and 50% water, which can be diverted for other purposes.
He said the government should also provided subsidy for the purpose.Referring to jackfruit cultivation after the union presented him a jackfruit as memento, he said that it benefited farmers in the long run. Farmers in the district can take up its cultivation either as an orchard or border planting. The Horticulture Department gives subsidy for raising grafted jackfruit saplings in clusters.
Farmers in hoblis can come together and take up jackfruit cultivation in clusters. If its cultivation is taken up on a minimum of five hectares or 12.5 acres by different farmers, they will get subsidy from the government. He said that the government also gives subsidy for cultivating dwarf and hybrid varieties of coconut. The department also gives training on apiculture and provides subsidy for bee keeping.
The Deputy Director said that the department is also promoting oil palm cultivation in the district, particularly in Sullia, Belthangady, Puttur and Bantwal taluks as an alternative to arecanut plantations affected by yellow leaf disease.
He said that about five lakh grafted black pepper veins and two lakh grafted cashew saplings are available for sale in nursuries of the department in the district now. Mr. Nayak said the government as on May 14, 2019 has given Rs. 50 crore as compensation to 50,000 farmers whose plantations were hit by ‘kole roga’ (fruit rot disease) in the rainy season in 2018. In all, 56,000 farmers have applied for compensation for the loss in 33,000 hectares in the district.