Trend attributed to the crop’s assured high returns
Confident of good returns, many people in Chikkamagaluru prefer cultivation of ginger to other crops. Its attraction has been such that a few in Chikkamagaluru town have converted residential plots into ginger fields, much to the agony of neighbours. As the crop demands elaborate chemical treatment, residents are worried about groundwater contamination.
In Jayanagar extension at Chikkamagaluru, one person is cultivating ginger on his 60 x 80 ft. residential site. In rural areas, people are converting paddy fields into ginger cultivation.
In many cases, land owners have given their land on lease for ginger cultivation.
“In recent years, paddy cultivation in Chikkamagaluru district has come down by 10,000 hectares of land. During interaction with farmers, I have found that many are opting to earn by leasing out their land to those who take up ginger cultivation. Many farmers have given their land on lease in the district,” said M.C. Seetha, Joint Director of Agriculture Department.
This has driven the Horticulture Department to bring down the area under ginger cultivation.
T.R. Vedamurthy, Deputy Director of Horticulture Department, told The Hindu on Monday that his department had been spreading awareness against extensive cultivation of ginger. “We have noticed people going into ginger cultivation. But, I hope, farmers will give up this crop once they understand that it harms the land in the long term,” he said.
Farmers favour ginger because they are assured of reasonable returns.
By sowing over 20 bags of ginger on an acre of land, they get approximately 200 bags within about seven to eight months.
Going by the present price in the market, farmers expect about Rs. 3 lakh from an acre under ginger cultivation as the price is about Rs. 1,500 a bag.
Residents of Jayanagar have complained to Chikkamagaluru City Municipal Corporation against ginger cultivation on residential sites. Madhusudan, environment engineer of CMC, told The Hindu that he had visited the area and instructed the land owners not to use chemicals.
“Many residents have filed petitions opposing ginger cultivation on residential sites,” he said.