`Emulate Maharashtra farmers, take up horticulture'
`Grape-growing area in Gulbarga is shrinking'
- `It is grown only in around 200 hectares of land'
GULBARGA: Vice-president of the Maharashtra Grape Growers Association Mahendra Shahir has called upon farmers to diversify their activities. They should emulate Maharashtra farmers who were making profits by taking up horticulture, particularly grape cultivation.
Inaugurating a seminar on grape cultivation organised by the Gulbarga District Grape Growers Association at the University of Agriculture Sciences Research Station on the outskirts of Gulbarga city on Sunday.
In the past decade, farmers of Maharashtra had shown the way to others on the benefits of horticulture cultivation. They had been pioneers in introducing new varieties of grapes that are much in demand in the export market, he said.
Mr. Shahir said that maintenance of quality and meeting international standards should be the hallmark of all grape growers.
Chairman of HOPCOMs Allamprabhu Patil said that both Maharashtra and Gulbarga had similar weather and soil conditions and it was high time that the farmers in Gulbarga district went for horticulture.
One of the major reasons for lack of growth in horticulture cultivation in Gulbarga district was the failure of officials to provide the farmers technical input and information about the benefits of horticulture, he said. Mr. Prabhu said that although Karnataka was second in grape production in the country, grape-growing area in Gulbarga district was shrinking. At present, it was grown only in around 200 hectares of land.
Even in drought-prone areas in Maharashtra, the farmers had successfully cultivated grapes and other horticulture crops using the water management technology, he said.