“I planted 300 amla saplings at Karanth Bailu in Narikombu in 2003. It was a joint effort with Prakash Karant. Although plants started yielding in 2006 good yield started from 2007,” said Panemangalore Manjunath Bhat, farmer. The plantation was about 5 km distance from B.C. Road.
Mr. Bhat said that he brought the saplings of hybrid Banarasi amla from Baif Institute for Rural Development, Tiptur. “I paid Rs. 25 a sapling then,” he said.
According to Mr. Bhat after seven years of planting, each plant yielded between 30 kg and 80 kg of amla a season. He harvested the crop twice in a season that was in November and December and in May. Each kg fetched him Rs. 30 in local market. Mr. Bhat said Mangalore market normally got gooseberry from Salem and Mumbai.
He said that if anyone wanted to grow amla commercially they must carefully select the grafted saplings from nurseries. All saplings did not yield. Two persons in Dakshina Kannada did plant amla saplings commercially some years ago. But they did not yield. In the current month, which was not a season, some saplings in Mr. Bhat’s plantation still had gooseberry. “It probably is an indication of imbalance in Nature or how Nature is changing,” Mr. Bhat laughed.
In addition, Mr. Bhat had planted about 25 mango plants 12 years ago. They started yielding after three years of planting. The mango varieties include mallika, banganapalli, alphonso, malgova, kalapadi, and pairi.
According to Mr. Bhat, he had 500 saplings of kari bevu (curry leaves). It fetched between Rs. 10 and Rs. 30 a kg. “Farmers can earn good supplementary income by cultivating ‘kari bevu’,” he said.