Betelvine Farmers Training Programme on 12.12.2014
A Training Programme on betelvine cultivation was conducted on 12.12.2014 at Grama Panchayat Bhavan, Bellodi village, Harihara Taluk, Davanagere District by IIHR in collaboration with Department of Horticulture (GOK), Davanagere. The training programme was supported by RKVY of NHM and DSAD project. Nearly 60 betelvine farmers participated in the training programme.
Betelvine is cultivated in over 800 ha in Harihara Taluk alone .Every day farmers from Bellodi and nearby villages such as Shamshipur, Ramathirtha, Hanagawadi, Nagenahalli, Beladahalli,Banuvalli contribute around 400-500 Pindis of betelvine to the auction center. Each Pindi (12000 leaves) costs not less than Rs 5000/ there by a turnover of Rs 20 lakhs/day is realized. Of late the betelvine fields are seriously affected by diseases and farmers are facing problems in cultivation. The Department of Horticulture under NHM is implementing a Betelvine Rejuvenation package. An interactive programme inviting farmers was arranged with officials and scientists.
Shri Girish Naik, AHO welcomed the resource persons and .Smt.Nirmala Shivakumar, President,Bellodi Gram Panchayat . Shri Shankarappa, Member, Shri Basavaraj, Member, Harihara Taluk Panchayat, Shri Umesh Mirji, DDH, Davanagere. Shri Shashidhara Swamy, ADH and scientists from IIHR have taken part in the discussions.
Shri Umesh Shankar Mirji DDH informed about the rejuvenation package being extended to betelvine farmers for removal of affected vines, for purchase of new planting material, inputs such as neem cake and imparting training programmes. Shri Basavaraj requested for a lasting solution to the farmers problems and opined if the garden can survive for 8 years it will be economical to the farmers. A progressive farmer Shantha Raju described the cultivation practices being followed and he explained the major problem faced by the growers is rotting of vines and after one and half years the whole garden is affected incurring heavy loss to the grower. During winter low yields and leaf spots are limiting economic returns. He also informed the standards are also affected by pests and diseases.
Farmers wanted measures to control disease and increase life span of betelvine gardens. They wanted information on better standards, irrigation methods and better market facilities. They were anxious to know the reasons for success of crop in one field and failure in another field and requested for field visits and tell them the differences. Dr Vasantha Kumar, Dr Himabindu,Dr Suryanarayana, Dr .Sriram, Dr Chakravarthy,Dr Kalaivanan gave all the information about improved cultivation practices and disease control measures.
Shri Manjanna a grower as well as a commission agent felt there is a reduction in usage of betel leaf and was of the opinion that Erythrina was the best standard for betelvine crop as the vines used to grow luxuriantly under its shade and it was affected. He requested scientists to help the farmers by giving alternative Erythrina species.
An exhibition of IIHR products such as Trichoderma, Paecilomyces, Pseudomonas, Arka microbial Consortium, publications, local cultivars and north Indian cultivars such as Meeta pan, Maghai pan, Godi Bangla were exhibited. The charts depicting Betelvine cultivation, pests and diseases, control measures was displayed in local language. Information from farmers on inputs usage was collected.
Later the team visited few betelvine fields of farmers some moderately healthy while others were devastated due to diseases. It was observed there was no drainage facility for removal of excess water in any field while the method of irrigation was only by flooding. It was decided to arrange a field to CHES, Hirehalli for at least 50 farmers,to provide IIHR products -biopesticides or microbial consortium to be included in rejuvenation package of betelvine to be implemented in 200 acres. It was suggested to plant improved varieties/hybrids as a demonstration in farmers fields.