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Farmers are assured of getting a fixed amount at the end of the year if they lease out the land
Till mid-March, ginger had been sown in about 45,000 hectares in the district
reaping benefits:Agricultural workers from Kerala at a ginger filed at Dasanakoplu near Hassan.
Hassan: For Narasamma, a farmer from Dasanakoplu near here, leasing out her land to ginger growers is more profitable than venturing into farming. She has leased out two acres of land to ginger growers from Kerala at the rate of Rs. 45,000 an acre per year.
Similarly, hundreds of potato farmers in the district have leased out their land to outsiders after their crop was hit by late blight in the past few years.
Ms. Narasamma said her family members preferred to hand over the land on lease as they were sure of getting an assured sum at the end of the year. Also, there was no need to look after the crop every day. “I get Rs. 45,000 an acre per year. And, the lessee pays another Rs. 50,000 for using the borewell water,” she said.
Potato is a traditional crop here. Hundreds of farmers had suffered losses after their crop was infected by late blight. The estimated loss since 2008 is Rs. 230 crore, according to the Agriculture Department.
“Continuing loss of crop prompted farmers to look for alternative crops. Many found ginger as the best alternative. However, we can't say that cultivation of potato has come down drastically before conducting a detailed ground survey,” Nagaraj, Deputy Director of Horticulture, said. According to Mr. Nagaraj, till mid-March, ginger had been sown in about 45,000 hectares in the district. By April-end, it will be extended to another 15,000 hectares. Last year, ginger was cultivated in 45,000 hectares.
Bobby, an agricultural worker from Kalpetta in Kerala, is among the three who are working on 7 acres of land taken on lease at Dasanakoplu. He is working for a Kerala-based farmer . “If the yield is good, the returns will be a minimum of Rs. 1.5 lakh per acre in a year,” he said.
However, these growers keep moving from one place to another as ginger is not meant to be cultivated on a particular land every year. “The yield is good in the first year. It sucks nutrients from the soil to the maximum level. Farmers will have to grow ragi or jowar for the next couple of years for the soil to regain fertility,” Mr. Bobby said.
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