A.J. Vinayak

A.J. Vinayak focuses on issues related to agri and rural life in his surroundings. Rather than the game of cricket, the business of cricket interests him and writes on it occasionally.

A J Vinayak

In search of a green field

| Updated on March 23, 2013 Published on March 23, 2013

Looking for greener pastures. -- A.J. Vinayak

We have developed technologies to reach the moon, but we find it difficult to develop a simple tool to pluck coconut from trees or de-husk arecanuts.

This was how Dhanakeerthi Balipa, a farmers’ leader from Moodbidri, expressed his views on simple issues in agriculture sector. The occasion was the field day organised by the horticulture research station at Ullal on the outskirts of Mangalore recently.

The shortage of agriculture labour has made the tasks of plucking coconut and de-husking arecanut difficult. The available technologies are either costly or not user-friendly.

Balipa felt that the governments that extend various facilities to industries do not show the same enthusiasm towards farming sector. The keenness shown on establishing industrial units is not seen in establishing rural cold chains.

Observing the recent trends in agriculture in Dakshina Kannada district, he said the people of the district are largely dependent on other districts for their food needs now.

A majority of milk to the district is supplied from Kolar and Hassan districts, and banana from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. A major portion of tender coconuts is sourced from Hassan.

“More than 600 acres of land was under paddy cultivation in my village earlier. Now I am the only person to cultivate paddy on 6.5 acres of land,” he said.

On the declining income levels of farmers and uncertainties associated with cultivation and harvesting, he commented that the officials meant to do research and extension activities get increments and promotions. However, farmers who slog on the field see their income level declining every year.

As an active member of a farmers’ group, Balipa wears a green shawl. But his comments gave a picture that the current scenario is not so ‘green’ for many farmers like him.

Published on March 23, 2013
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