Mangaluru, Feb 25, 2015: Shortage of farm labour and lack of interest have kept cultivation of Harekala chilly, an exclusive variety grown in Harekala, Ambalamogaru and Pavoor of Mangaluru taluk, to deminish significantly.
The area under chilly cultivation has come down drastically in the recent past. To promote chilly cultivation, under Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), Harekala Chilly Growers’ Association has been formed six months ago. The speciality of Harekala chilli is it is of larger size, brighter red, and produces a better flsvour in pickles and non-vegetarian dishes.
Speaking after visiting the field, National Food Security Mission District advisor Savitha said "under ATMA, seed fund of Rs 10,000 will be given to the group next year. We will also educate in the field of a few farmers next year. This year, we could not help the farmers as we have failed to receive fund from the government." She said farmers should promote chilly variety among other farmers so that it could be saved from becoming extinct. Farmers can prepare 25 gram packets of seeds and then sell it among fellow farmers. The "ele suruli roga" affecting the plant can be controlled in advance by spraying.
Support : Mangaluru Taluk Horticulture department Assistant Director said that technical support can be provided and also demonstration in the farms / fields next year. ATMA, funds are earmarked for extension activities and demonstrations. District secretary of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene, said the entire production of Harekala chillies is now restricted to ten acre.
Through the growers group, the Krishi Vigyan Kendra and Agriculture and Horticulture department has been asked to register the chilly in Spices Board, to avail facilities from the government. There are only 10 to 15 farmers who grow Harekala chillies in the region. The farmers have urged the government to help in preserving the unique chilly from becoming extinct. The farmers alleged that the government has been neglecting the unique crop. The horticulture department has neglected the crop.
Department Principal Secretary Rajeev Shukla during his recent visit to Mangaluru had director Deputy Director to visit the field. However, he has not paid visit to the field so far, it is stated.