Just a couple of years ago officials of the Department of Horticulture
were vigorously promoting farmers to take up Banana cultivation.
Today they have taken a 'U' turn, asking farmers to stop growing
Reason: With a large number of farmers taking up banana cultivation in the region has led to a glut in the market hence the officials are
advising farmers to take up mixed farming and integrated vegetables
Sources said the department is also recommend discontinuation of subsidy to banana growers and a decision is likely to taken at the
directorate meeting to be held in the month of March.
Compare to small and marginal farmers, the big farmers who own 20 to 100 acres of land have taken up banana cultivation and this has become a challenging task for the officials to educate them and control the production. Officials are inviting big farmers under one roof in taluk levels and explaining them the problems of over cultivation of bananas and are being motivated to grow vegetables and other crops.
According to the officials of Horticulture Department, banana
cultivation in the district by registered farmers availing subsidy was
33 hectares. While the number of farmers growing bananas without
availing any subsidy has crossed 400 to 500 hectares.
Over the past two years there was a good price for bananas in the open
market, especially when the demand peaked between June to September. This motivated many farmers to grow banana leading to gradual increase in the area of cultivation year after year. Sources say, in a directorate meeting to be held in March, it will be taken a decision not to give subsidy for banana this year to reduce the cultivation.
The Deputy Director of Horticulture Basavaraj said that awareness
programmes are being conducted at hobli level and farmers are being
encouraged to grow vegetables, and adopt mixed farming. 'Earlier, to
motivate small farmers subsidies were provided to promote banana
cultivation along with explaining them about the technologies adopted
for processing. Now, plans are being chalked out to bring down the
banana cultivation,' he added.
Enthused by the good market for bananas, farmers in the region have
took banana plantation in large numbers this year, which led to steep
fall in the prices. There were even instances of fruits being thrown
away in the streets by distressed farmers. The prices fell to less
than Rs 5 kg, though it is gradually increasing in the market, and
today the price has reached Rs 15 to Rs 20 for the past few weeks.