Mangalore, Aug 19, 2014: Inaugurating the programme, ’Workshop to farmers on the scope for horticulture development and terrace gardening’ , District-in-Charge Minister B Ramanath Rai suggested the horticulture department to improve the pace of the department’s work, specially with regard to distribution of compensation to the farmers.
“There are complaints against the department for the delay in reaching government schemes to the beneficiaries. This should not happen. Distribute compensation without any delay. The delay will only put the farmers in trouble,” he said.
The fruit rot disease attack on areca plantations being a major cause of concern for areca growers, Zilla Panchayat President Asha Thimmappa Gowda said there was a need for the government to establish a full-fledged areca research institute in the district on the lines of Kerala’s Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI). The areca growers who had incurred huge loss due to fruit rot disease last year, are bound to lose some percentage of their crop this year too. Hence, it is of immense necessity to find out a solution to the existing problem than distributing compensation to the loss incurred.
Moreover, farmers have been using bio fight and other varieties of medicines to control fruit rot disease. But, nobody has clue about any negative impact of its usage, she said. She was speaking at a workshop to farmers on the scope for horticulture development and terrace gardening, at Zilla Panchayat hall on Monday. The programme was organised by the district Horticulture department to commemorate the birth anniversary of Father of Horticulture M H Marigowda.
Pointing at the problems faced by farmers, she said the co-ordination between various departments could be solved if the government moots a comprehensive plan for the agriculturists involving agriculture, horticulture, irrigation, watershed and animal husbandry departments.
Areca under MGNREGS : Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Tulasi Maddineni said that areca plantation has been included under MGNREGS and she asked the areca growers to make use of the scheme. Small farmers, SCs and STs and BPL card holders with a small land can grow areca saplings under the scheme.
Monkey menace : Worried over the monkey menace, the farmers demanded the District-in-Charge minister who is also the forest minister to take measures to control the problem. “Half of our crops are destroyed by monkeys. Why not the government initiate the process of sterilisation of monkeys?” a farmer asked. While, another farmer suggested the forest department to grow fruit bearing trees in forest to avoid monkeys entering plantations. Speaking to media, Minister Ramanath Rai assured of finding ways to tackle the menace.
Streached inauguration updets farmers : The workshop conducted by the horticulture department drew criticism from the farmers who were upset over the time spent on the formal inaugural programme and that they were not given an opportunity to interact. The programme was supposed to be inaugurated at 11.30 pm, was delayed due to the late arrival of guests. At the end of the stage programme, when the farmers were requested to go for lunch, agitated farmers questioned why they were invited to the programme after all when they were not given an opportunity to speak. Amidst this, ZP Standing Committee for Agriculture, President, Balakrishna Suvarna flayed the horticulture department for organising the event for formality and also blamed the department officials for not addressing the problems of farmers and demanded better consideration.