Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hopcoms outlets in city

Hopcoms outlets to be set-up in various extension soon
Residents can purchase fresh veggie at reasonable price soon
To cater the needs of developing city, Horticultural Producers' Cooperative Marketing and Processing Society (HOPCOMS) has planned to set up 17 more new fruits and vegetable outlets in the newly-established layouts, including one in Kadakola.

The outlets will have spot billing facility and storage facilities. The construction of outlets will commence from January and will be left open for business in March-April.

Mysore City Corporation has provided land on lease for the construction of 11 outlets (11.5x11.5 feet) and one will be constructed at Kadakola near Gram Panchayat Office.

Twelve outlets will be constructed under Rastriya Krushi Vikas Yojana at the cost of Rs 2.75 lakh each and another five outlets will be constructed under S-20 Scheme of Karnataka Horticulture Federation at the total estimated cost of Rs 20 lakh.

In a bid to attract more number of people, employees are being trained how to behave in discipline with customers. Measures have been taken to open outlets in the business areas from 8.30 am to 8.30 pm and also to sale fresh fruits and vegetables at competitive price in the outlets and to control the middlemen menace.
Mysore Hopcoms Managing Director BM Shivalingappa said that already 42 fruits and vegetables outlets are existing in Mysore, including one at Chamundi Hill and T Narasipur and good response is evoked from the public.

Among 42 outlets, 22 outlets are functioning in own building, whereas remaining building are rented. Last months 10 building have been renovated and in a phase manner remaining builds will be renovated.

Spot billing machine
A new weighing machine 'Spot billing machine' has been introduced at 20 Hopcoms outlets in Mysore last month. It will be regularsied to other shops subsequently.

Fruits and Vegetables prices will be uploaded in computer through PC Application Software from Headquarters, where the scale and stock management will be monitored by another software.
Through this machine, a consumer can read the weight and price of the vegetables or fruits purchased from them. This hi-tech method has been adopted by Hopcoms to be transparent.  

Students grow organic vegetables at school back yard in district

At least 60 percent of government schools in Mysore district are making efforts towards becoming self sufficient in terms of their vegetables requirement. Thanks to the government's 'Shala Kaitota programme' which seeks to make use of the backyard in government schools to grow chemical free greens.

Based on the availability of space in school backyard, water, school teachers have begun teaching farming activity to students, under the programme 'Shala Kaithota' sponsored by the Government, familiarising them on how to grow vegetables and greens which are chemical-free and also nutritious. Through this children are gaining knowledge about organic cultivation of crops which is also the need of the hour.

Vegetables like brinjal, beans, Bottle Guard (sorekayi), Pumpkin, drumstick, and varieties of green leaves like menthe, pudina, sapsige, dantu, chakotha, coriander leaves and others have grown by the students. Interestingly in some schools, for about 20-25 days the greens grown in the backyard are used for the mid-day meals served in their schools.

The excess grown vegetables, greens are sold by children after their school hours. The obtained money is used to purchase seeds. Moreover, children are made aware of market strategy by this.

Student Kavya of Government Higher Primary School, Chikkegowdana Kopalu, Ilwala, says: “We are very happy that vegetables and greens grown by us are used for preparing food. Moreover, we are harvesting organic plants, with the help of teachers and have learnt how to grow crops in the little space available in our backyards.”

Head Master MN Rangaswamy said that “after removing the ornamental plants we began growing greens and vegetables in the schools, without disturbing the children's play ground.”

Mysore Taluk BEO R Ramaradhya said that the students are responding positively for the programme as it is providing a good exercise for the children both physically and mentally. “As some schools have no compound walls stray animals enter and destroy the crops some time.”

DDPI BK Basavaraju said that about 60-70 per cent schools in district have began growing veggies and greens, and very good response is evoked from students and parents.

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The programme 'Shala Kaithota' (School Hand Garden) was implemented by the State Government under Sarva Sikshan Abhiyan a decade ago. Rs 3000 has been released by government for schools, which have adequate space and water facility to develop the garden. The programme was not implemented effectively all these years, due to lack several problems. But, now the programme is evoking good response.  

Evolution of fodder grass at Mymul

If one is curious to learn about the evolution of fodder grass, which began from the early elephant grass in the African planes to the local Bajra and the present day hybrid varieties of Co-3, and Co-4 Samporna, one should visit Mymul Training center located in Alanahalli.

Mysore Milk Union Limited (Mymul) has grown 20 popular varieties of fodder grass on one acre plot, being used as cattle feed for over three decades. The plot is a educative center for thousands of farmers, especially for those who are planning to take up dairy farming. The fodders are exclusively used as feed for the livestock and forms a major role in agricultural sector.

Interestingly among the various varieties of fodders grown here, the fodder origin from Elephant Grass and Kumbu (Bajira) can also be seen. After extensive scientific experiment, a hybrid grass variety was developed namely, Hybrid Napier (NB-21), a cross between the Elephant grass and the Bajira.

Further research done at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore resulted in the development of Cumbu Napier CO1 followed by CO 3 and CO 4, variety known as 'Samporna'. All these three hybrid varieties can be seen here. Using CO 4 as fodder for cows resulted in increased milk output and also the yield of CO 4 per hectare is more.

With the Mysore-Chamarajanagar Milk Union attaining third place in the State, on an average 6 lakh liters milk is produced by the dairy everyday, and there is a good demand for the fodder.

Mymul has already provided more than one crore stem cuttings of this hybrid grass fodder to farmers on subsidised rates and is able to meet more than one 80 per cent of the demand. Free home delivery is also provided.

MS Lakshmi Prasad Yadav of Mymul said farmers in Mysore and Chamarajnagar were giving more prominence to grow fodder. Thousands of farmers have already undergone training on growing the hybrid grass varieties.

According to a survey, more farmers favour cultivating agriculture crops than growing animal fodder. Only 4 per cent of agriculture land is used for growing fodder crop across the country, while in States like Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat it is six percent.
To cut down costs of milk production and increase the yield, growing green fodder is necessary. The proteins in the fodder helps livestock to produce good quantity of milk,” says farmer Thimmanayaka of Periyapatna.   

Farmer grows 567 varieties of rice

Farmer Ghani Khan has literally brought back to life the once traditional rice diversity that was growing naturally by growing 567 different strains of rice. Rice harvested from each variety has come out with its unique colour, size, and shape retaining its original flavour.

Hailing from Kirugavulu in Malavalli taluk of Mandya district, 36 year old Ghani Khan completed his BA in Archeology and Musicology and is striving hard to revive and maintain the rice diversity.

Since the time of his great-grandfather Syed Ghani Khan, all his family members were into agriculture, not growing rice but instead growing 250 varieties of mango at 'Bada Bagh' orchard, gifted by the erstwhile ruler of Mysore Tipu Sultan.

Now four generations later, Ghani Khan has completely changed the outlook of his ancestral farm by growing 567 different strains of rice, along with the mangoes, in addition to 60 varieties of medicinal plants, sugarcane, guava, aromatic plants and Teak Silver Oak (agro-forestry) along the boundaries of his 20 acres of land.

Rice planted in the one acre of his land is meant only for seed production,
drawing farmers from far and near places. The rice varieties grown here were collected from five different States and also from other countries.

Things changed after the KRS dam was constructed. While hitherto distinct varieties of rice like Coimbatore Sanna, Raja Bhog, Bangaru Sanna, Bangaru Kaddi, Kaddi Batha, and Doddibatha that were being grown traditionally here came to end. With the availability of ample supply of water round the year high yielding rice varieties were taken up for cultivation. Slowly the diverse rice crops vanished from the fields,” said Ghani.

With the intention of reviving and restoring the lost strains he single-handedly began collecting traditional rice seeds in 1998 and ended collecting a record 567 varieties of paddy strains. He thanked the organic farming association like Sahaja Samrudha for helping him in his endeavor to collect seeds from different regions.

Krishna Prasad of Sahaja Samrudha said, “Ghani’s concern for conservation of biodiversity has influenced many farmers to conserve traditional rice varieties and his experiment has made even scientists and officials to take note of his efforts, and have applauded his venture.”

Prize Collections

Some of the diverse strains revived in his field are Rajabhog, which is a weed
suppresser, Anandi a variety from Dharwad with a high yielding capacity, Jeeriga Samba a popular variety among farmers known for its aroma, Parimalasanna.

Two varieties of Burma black rice, some of the varieties from Orissa like
kalakali, baingan mangi, Govindbhog (a sacred variety used as offering to God Krishna); Maharashtra varieties like sagvad, an upland variety used for pooha, maladi a medicinal rice used in treatment of fractured bones, HMT variety, Kasubai another aroma variety, Raj Gudiyapa a dry land medicinal rice variety used for treating weakness and Dharisal, Tulasiya, Sheerabathi, Thamadisala, rathbath amongst several others can be found here.

Chinnaponni, Kempudoddi, Halublu, Rajakayame, Rasakadam,Gamgadale, Burmablack, Kagisali, Ambimohar, Gamsale, Kottayane, Bilinellu, Gandhasale, NMS2, Rajmudi, Ratnachudi, Gowrisanna, Jeerigesanna, Bilidoddi, , Gambatha, Jeerigesale and several others are grown here.

They sell mats since fourth generation

Circle is not just a prominent landmark in the heart of the city, but also a place where nutgrass weed mat sellers having been eking out a living since centuries. A countable number of people, majority of them are women, can be seen even today selling mats (chaape) a vocation practiced, since the time of their ancestors dating back to more than 150 years.

In this era of modernisation, with the arrival of fancy carpets made of plastic, wollen and various other materials the demand for nutsedge weed mats has dried up. But still the family members do not want to give up their traditional livelihood and are striving hard for their survival.

According to Malligamma who is in this business for past 50 years, she used to accompany with her grand mother from her childhood to sell the carpets in KR Circle.

"As there were no bus facilities, my grandmother and mother used to walk all the way from Kadakola till KR Circle. In the past there was good demand, but for the past 5 to 6 years, we see good business only during festival seasons and certain special occasions,” she added.

Hucchanayaka another traditional mat seller says: “There are only three persons who make mats in Kadakola, which are very expensive but lasts for ten years. But the demand for such mats are very less in market. So, we purchase the mats from a distributor which are brought from Tamil Nadu where the prices are very competitive. The prices of mats sold here ranges from Rs 100 to Rs 1500 depending on the length,
width and the size.” This traders come here by 7.30 am in the morning and sell the mats till 9.30 pm.


'Korai' is the tamil name and 'chennikaddi' called in Kannada for Nutsedge Weed, which is used for weaving. Its grown by farmers in Tamil Nadu who are involved in grass farming. According to Malligamma, mat weaving is a painstaking job and long process has to be followed.

Mymul to cut down transportation and distribution cost

Packing and transporting milk without any delay after processing is a daunting task. It has to reach all destinations ahead of the expiry time mentioned on the pack, else it will be rejected.

The Primary Milk Producers Co-operative Society chill the milk before dispatching it to the main Milk Dairy in Mysore for further processing and the processed milk is again sent back to the villages for consumption. This roundabout process incurs avoidable costs, wastage of fuel and manpower besides being inefficient.

In order to cut down the extra transportation and distribution costs, Mysore Milk Union has decided to upgrade its existing chilling centers at Hunsur and Chamarajanagar by adding milk processing and packaging facilities at these units.

As a result, unprocessed milk collected from Periyapatna, KR
Nagar, HD Kote, Hunsur and other neighbouring villages will be processed, packed and transported directly from these centers, instead of sending them to Mysore every day as is being done now.

The two centers will be upgraded by deploying the latest technology and the estimated proposal for the same is Rs 8 crore, which will be provided by National Co-operative Development Corporation.

There are 1294 Primary Milk producers co-operative societies under Mysore-Chamarajanagar Milk Union of which 871 are in Mysore. While 1 lakh liters of milk is collected from Hunsur every day, the procurement from Chamarajanagar touches 80,000 liters per day.
By upgradation of these two centers, Mymul can save 8 to 10 paise per liter for transportation and distribution respectively.

Mymul MD Dr Suresh Babu said that though the State has 13 milk unions, Mysore is the first Union to have a packing and processing facilities at the taluk level.

Because of the upgradation of centers, consumers can get fresh milk quickly and also help cut down on transportation and distribution costs. Officials from NCDC, New Delhi, will be visiting Mysore on December 13 and 14 to visit the centers, he added.

Bulk Milk coolers
Plans have been drawn to set up 62 bulk milk coolers in Mysore and Chamajanagar. Under the first phase 14 bulk milk collers (8 in Periyapatna, 3 in Nanjangud and 1 each in KR Nagar and HD Kote) will start functioning from January. Presently the Mysore Milk Union has 49 coolers. With this Mysore Milk Union will be the first in the State to get this project sanctioned. Rs 667.02 lakh has been sanctioned as the grant in aid by National Diary Plan.


Quick view
- Mysore Milk Union produces 5,72,000 kg of milk per day.
- 2,35,000 kg milk is sold every day.
- 30,000 kg is used for curds
- 5000 to 7000kg is used to make other products like Kova, Paneer, Masala Mosaru, Nandini Bite and others.
- 1.5 lakh kg of milk is sold between diaries.
- 45000kg milk is sent to kerala; DK – 15,000kg and 20,000 kg to a Diary in Bangalore and also to Chanrayanapatna for hybrid Milk.
- Remaining 1.5 lakh kg of milk will be converted into powder.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Palace Artist M Ramanarasaiah no more

City's senior and retired Palace artist 91-year-old M Ramanarasiah is no more. Being resident of Vijayanagar, he breadth his last in a private hospital around 1.30 am on Sunday. He leaves behind his wife Jayamma, and eight children, including two sons. Last rites were held at foot of Chamundi Hills on Sunday.

Being a scholar in Mysore Traditional Paintings, he was a mentor for thousands of budding artists. He was the one, who introduced squirrel hair brushes for creating painting.

Born in 1992, he was the son of Venkatanarasiah, a Shirastedar in the erstwhile princely State of Mysore. After obtaining graduation in fine arts, he created a painting of Jayachamarajendra Waidyar for which he was provided a royal patronage unit.

His works were gifted to royal families by then Wadiyars and his paining on Maharaja's last Durbar is being displayed at Jaganmohan Palace. His paintings have been exhibited across country and has many honours to his credit, including the rewards given from King Jayachamaraja Wadiyar. He was also the recipient of MTV Acharya Award.

City's senior and budding artists have condoled his death. In a release,
Sri Kalanikethan School of Arts KC Mahadevashetty said that he was master in Art and had maintained his unique style in paintings.


Amentor to Mysore's many budding artists, this exponent of the Mysore School of Painting, M. Ramanarasiah, is much more than a good teacher. He has donated a number of his paintings to individuals, temples and institutions creating a deep awareness and interest in the aesthetics of art. Young at 88, this simple, soft-spoken and gentle artist resides in Vijayanagar.

Born in 1922, Ramanarasiah is the son of Venkatanarasiah, a Shirastedar in the erstwhile princely State of Mysore.

Ramanarasiah completed his SSLC in the then English Medium High School in Mysore, run by the Methodist Mission. His favourite subject was Chemistry and Science. His father wanted Ramanarasiah to become a doctor or a scientist. But drawn by the intangible call of art which he saw as an integral part of one’s life, he chose to follow his muse in the field of painting.

With a burning desire to become an accomplished artist and hopefully reach the level of Ravivarma, Ramanarasiah appeared for the entrance exam in Chamarajendra Technical Institute. At the time, its Superinten-dent was reputed artist Pawanje.

Pawanje, impressed by Ramanarasiah's skill and his control over lines and the fluidity in executing them, directly admitted him to second year course. Ramanarasiah graduated in Fine Arts in 1947 and in 1950, he married Jayalaxmi.

After marriage, Ramanarasiah settled down to become a full-fledged painter and created a 12-inch masterpiece of Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar in oils. Other accomplishments followed and he was given royal patronage until 1960.

During the days of royal patronage he completed numerous oil paintings. The then Maharaja presented these works to different royal families and notable persons. Many of his paintings of kings and renowned persons are in the possession of some of the older quasi-royal families of Mysore as well as Mutts. Among his finest creations is the 7ft x 12ft likeness in oil of the Maharaja’s last Durbar, displayed even now at Jaganmohan Palace.

Ramanarasiah retired in 1960. He was given the sinecure as the Superintendent of Jayachamarajendra School of Painting till 1978. Artists do not put away the palette or camel hair brushes even after they attain 60 years of age. They go on and so did Ramanarasiah.

Impressed by Ramanarasiah’s depth of knowledge and his artistic creativity, the scion of the royal family Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar installed him as the ‘Guru’ of the newly founded Sri Jayachamarajendra Traditional Mysore School of Painting (1981). He was also the curator of Jaganmohan Palace.

Ramanarasiah is adept in both oils and water colours but he went ahead to master the unique Tanjore and the Mysore Schools of paintings. He also learnt painting on glass sheets and ‘Chikani’ style on ivory surface.

Through the years of experimentation with colours, his knowledge of chemistry came in handy. He is even credited with discovering that fine squirrel-hair brushes were ideal for water co-lours. His well-known illustrations are depictions of incidents from Ramayana, Mahabharata, the 18 Puranas, the Upapuranas and the scenes from epics like Rama's coronation, Girija Kalyana, Dashavatara, Gajendra Moksha, Raja Rajeshwari etc. He has also written a monograph on 'Ayurveda Medicines.'

Ramanarasiah's works have been displayed at many exhibitions in several cities in India and abroad. He has been honoured many times — during the 1981 and 1993 Dasara celebrations and by the Lalitha kala Academy in 1993 and 1985. Jayachamaraja Wadiyar has also presented many rewards for his works.

Ramanarasiah says, "Perfection is very important for an artist. Even today I create the colours and brushes that I need and use. I don’t prefer ready-made materials."

Ramanarasiah has eight children. His son S.N. Simha, an engineer, eldest daughter Sudha Venkatesh who lives in Bangalore and Chandrika are also adept in Mysore traditional painting.

Portrait of B.S. Pandit, founder-Secretary of Geetha Shishu Shikshana Sangha, painted by S.N. Simha and Ramana-rasiah. It will be unveiled in GSSS Women's Engineering College, Mysore.