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Ginger crop being stolen in Hassan district

By Our Staff Correspondent

HASSAN, FEB. 24. Dacoits who were after gold, silver, and cash have now started looting commercial crops in Hassan district, especially ginger, which is fetching a good price.

Theft of small quantities of the crop across the district has been reported.

A group of six people looted ginger worth Rs. 1 lakh in Dudda Police Station limits recently. According to police, the group barged in to a farm house belonging to Manjunatha Datta, near Ranganathapura gate in Dudda hobli on Thursday at 1.30 a.m. They allegedly threatened the labourers guarding the ginger tubers preserved for sowing, with machetes and took away the treated tubers in a tempo, police said.

Up on learning about the incident, the police swung in to action, but could not apprehend the culprits. The police said that though thieving small quantities of ginger has been reported in Malnad part of the district, especially in Alur and Sakleshpur, no complaints have been received so far.

The Additional Superintendent of Police, B.S. Prakash, said that the thieving of harvested potato, pepper, coffee seeds, and cardamom has become common, as the produce fetched a good price.

The increase in price of ginger in north India motivated farmers in the district to cultivate the crop. The farmers in the Maland region and the dry land areas, including Holenarsipur, Arkalgud, Channarayapatna and Hassan taluks, which are being irrigated by the Hemavathi reservoir, have also taken up ginger cultivation.

Many farmers in the Sakleshpur region, who were earlier growing coffee, have switched over to ginger, according to Pampathi, Deputy Director, Department of Horticulture.

The demand for ginger increased owing to the failure of the crop in the north-eastern part of the country. The growers said that they are getting Rs. 2,000 for a bag containing 61 kg of ginger tuber and Rs. 1,700 for a bag of ordinary ginger. There is a possibility of further increase in the price.

Mr. Prakash said that the are taking efforts to identify those involved in looting the ginger crop. He urged the growers to cooperate with the police in apprehending the culprits.

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