Thursday, November 8, 2012

Barren land turns bountiful for tribes

Nagarahole National Park region tribal who have resettled at Shettihalli, Lakkapattana village, Hangod hobli in Hunsur taluk, are harvesting a fine quality of maize from barren land for the last two years.

Being primitive tribal, many of them had no idea about agriculture. But, for the last two years, the tribes have cultivated maize and are not only getting pecuniary returns, but have also enriched their knowledge about agriculture under the guidance of officials.

They harvest 25-30 quintals per acre, whereas the yield by farmers is only 18-22 quintals. Hailing from Kodagu and H D Kote, about 150 Jenukuruba tribal families have become agriculturists in Shettihalli. In all, 450 acres were provided to them, of which about 70 per cent of the land was dry and the remaining wet land.

According to tribal leader Rajappa, a majority of the tribes were not aware of agriculture before. “We are obtaining good yield and have learnt to harvest maize. We are happy as we also grow vegetables in our garden. Our life style has indeed changed a lot.”

Agriculture Department Assistant Director Kenchegowda said that measures have been taken to bring the tribes to the mainstream through agriculture.

“There are no labour problems here, as the entire family of 5-7 continues harvesting maize even in the absence of others. If maize is cultivated providing some gap, it gives a good yield,” Agriculture Department Assistant Director Kenchegowda  added.  Under the state governments Bhoo Chethana Programme, Forest and Agriculture Department officials are providing guidance to these tribes.

As per the direction of the Supreme Court, the rehabilitation scheme was undertaken by the Central government, which provided barren land and Rs 10 lakh for re-settlement of tribal.

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