M. N. Shankaranarayana Bhat at Mallya near Punacha planted 200 grafted saplings this June. Venkatakrishna Sharma at Muliya planted 170 grafted saplings - 85 saplings on half the plot last year and as many saplings this year in the remaining farm.
Mr. Sharma told The Hindu that another agriculturist Narayana Bhat at Kanyana in the same taluk too has planted 85 saplings one-acre farm in this June.
During a visit to his farm in Mallya, Mr. Bhat told The Hindu that the 200 saplings in his farm land had 64 grafted varieties. He purchased the saplings from Gururaja Balthilaya at Hiriyadka in Udupi district.
Some of the varieties were southe barikka, sakraya chandra, Basrur bilik bakke – II, red rudrakshi, thoobugere, anantady, suvarna and the like.
Mr. Bhat said that in addition to 200 saplings planted this year, his 30 acre farm land had more than 150 jackfruit saplings and trees spread all over (grown) wildly.
Mr. Bhat said he planted 200 saplings from commercial point of view.
Mr. Sharma said that he planted the saplings as he wanted to save different varieties. His 170 saplings had 60 varieties.
Both the farmers said that the grafted saplings would bear fruit in five years.
Mr. Sharma said that Department of Horticulture this year has proposed to promote jackfruit cultivation in Punacha, Kepu, Alike, Peruvai and Manila villages in Bantwal taluk.
“According to the government it should be cultivated as an irrigation crop. If a farmer begins irrigating jackfruit saplings profit is not ensured as it will be expensive,” he said. An Assistant Director of Horticulture here said that the department has begun a scheme to promote jackfruit cultivation in Vittla cluster from this year.
Both the farmers said that so far they have not received any help from the horticulture department and they planted it on their own even before the announcement of the scheme.