Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Centre clears six flower auction centres

Belgaum "the flower City"

News Source
The Hindu (www.thehind.com) 26 Dec 2007

BANGALORE: To tap the potential in the floriculture sector, the Union Government has sanctioned six flower auction centres to the State under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).

Karnataka, which occupies a prominent position in floriculture in the country, has decided to establish auction centres on the lines of Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMC) in six districts.

The Centre has accepted the proposals made by the State Government and agreed to release Rs. 8 crore for establishment of auction centres, Horticulture Department officials told The Hindu on Tuesday.

The centres would come up at Sirsi in Uttara Kannada; Madikeri in Kodagu; Chikkanayakanahalli in Tumkur; apart Udupi, Belgaum and Bagalkot.

These districts are known for large areas under floriculture, and several people in the floriculture business have set up hi-tech units. “The floriculture enterprise will continue to be a challenge until the chain of activities right from post-harvest to buyers is properly handled,” an official maintained.

The officials said the Centre had decided to release Rs. 6 crore in the current financial year and Rs. 2 crore in the next fiscal year.

Awareness lacking

Flower growers lacked awareness about market conditions because of poor linkages in the distribution chain and had poor access to cold storage facilities, leading to seasonal gluts and price variation. The auction centres provided all facilities, including storage.

There was much scope for tapping the Rs. 600-crore domestic market in the floriculture sector.

At present, only 2.5 per cent of the flower sales were in the organised retail sector. Since floriculture provided a viable diversification option for agricultural sector, the Centre agreed to provide funds to set up auction centres, the officials spointed out.

In the State, floriculture covers about 21,500 hectares and flower production is around 1.60 lakh tonnes worth about Rs. 300 crore.

At present, there are 125 hi-tech floriculture units in the State, spread over an area of 200 hectares.

There are about 150 nurseries, big and small, registered and unregistered, in and around the garden city. The State has already established an International Flower Auction Centre at Bangalore, which is said to be the first of its kind in the country.

A major chunk of the country’s floriculture exports is from the Bangalore region as it accounts for exports worth Rs. 50 crore in the country’s total exports of Rs. 74.13 crore.

The floriculture business is concentrated in Bangalore, Belgaum, Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kolar districts.

The flowers that dominate the production are marigold (46,101 tonnes) chrysanthemum (42,794 tonnes), jasmine (29,707 tonnes), tube rose (11,185 tonnes), crossandra (9,898 tonnes), aster (7,812 tonnes), rose (3,128 tonnes), and others (9,365 tonnes).

The highest number of hi-tech floriculture units are in Belgaum (70), followed by Bangalore Rural district (25), Bangalore city (20), Kodagu (10) and Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Shimoga (five each).

There are nearly 1,000 florist stalls in Bangalore.

However, retailers maintain that the highest consumption in the market is the home segment.

The corporate consumption in the city is negligible, they say.


The Horticulture Department has decided to provide assistance of Rs. 18 lakh to establish model floriculture nurseries in the two universities of agricultural sciences, Krishi Vignana Kendras and State departmental farms under the National Horticulture Mission.

The private entrepreneurs could also avail themselves of assistance of Rs. 9 lakh to set up model nurseries.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Jain heritage needs your Help

Dear Friends

My associate blog-buddy Uday has recently published a very nobel cause and efforts of Mr Chipre, who is on crusde to save rare 10th centry Jain heritage site at Belgaum for more info please follow the URL below



Sunday, December 9, 2007

Onion prices and crying Farmers (Apathy in North Karnataka)

This story really touched me and fear that North Karnataka shouldn’t become another Vidarbha region, The Gowdas (term as Gowder gaddalla) brought instability to the state and then as I live in the middle east the onion now coming here from other countries is far from good quality , where as the onion from India where much better quality , but thanks to the nexus of politicians and bureaucrats at NAFED where the rampant corruption was exposed, and even though NAFED $100 was good price for these poor farmers to fetch some returns from hard earned yield, but these middle men at APMC sallow up all the bucks,
We should have a proper federal price control committee and regulated price export with inflation control supply in the country, I suppose these onions will make all hear far more cry in near future.

Onion price crash triggers suicide

Source Newindpress Monday December 10 2007

HUBLI: Mallikarjun, 38, was found lying on the ground, grimacing in pain, on the wintry morning of December 3.

He had just consumed half a litre of cypermethrin, an insecticide. A man known for his calm demeanour, Mallikarjun listened in silence when the villagers began to chastise him. But the heartbroken man could not hold it in any longer.

‘‘What do you know of my problems?,’’ he asked, and breathed his last. Mallikarjun, a farmer of Kabbenur in Dharwad, was hopeful of a good harvest for his onion produce. Manjula, his sister, recalls: ‘‘Despite Rs 4 lakh loans, he was optimistic about making money. ’’

Mallikarjun’s first attempt to sell his onions at the Hubli Agricultural Produce Market Corporation (APMC) ended in disaster. Armed with 120 quintals of onions in late October, a trader agreed to buy the produce for Rs 700 per quintal.

However, the agreement was not honoured and the produce was returned. By the time Mallikarjun could resell it, there was severe price crash, and he received only Rs 200 per quintal. With the export of onions banned, Mallikarjun’s, and thousands of other farmers’ last hope was the announcement of a Minimum Support Price (MSP) by the State Government.

But, as the political drama in the state unfolded in October and November, a MSP seemed increasingly unlikely. He ventured to Belgaum to sell another 80 quintals. His fortunes, however, did not improve in the new market and he settled for a price of Rs 250 per quintal.

But further tragedy struck on his way back as he went to Manjula’s house and on the way had lost the Rs 3000 he had made at Belgaum on the bus. She recalls: ‘‘He went straight to the bed and began to sob. ’’

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Grameena Vikas Bank, from where Mallikarjun had taken a loan of Rs 1.45 lakhs, sent a notice for repayment. Kallanagouda, his brother, said: ‘‘Apart from this, he also had to settle a bill of Rs 2 lakhs for labour work on the fields.’’

By now, Mallikarjuna had pinned all his hopes on getting a fair price at Bangalore. But the prices were still low. Mallikarjun was worried about the loan. Manjula said, ‘‘Luck had completely deserted him,” and two days later, he committed suicide.

His family blame it on the government’s failure to announce an MSP. In early October, when the prices of onion rose to Rs 30 per kg, the government decided to restrict exports to bring the price down.

The NAFED also raised the Minimum Export Price by $100. As a result, exports in November dropped by 72%. Bangladesh, traditionally the largest importer of onions, has imported only 320 tonnes this year, against 4.2 lakh tonnes in 2006-07.

Mudigoudra , a relative of Mallikarjun warns that this could be the beginning of a spate of suicides in the region. ‘‘There is a palpable sense of despair among the farmers,’’ he warns.

Belgaum artists’ exhibition in Kolkata

Source EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Monday December 10 2007

BELGAUM: Three artists from Belgaum and one from Haveri will launch Group Painting Exhibition displaying their paintings from December 13 to 19 at Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata.

The group of artists include Aaron Anil Prakash, a 23-year-old student of Beynon Smith School of Fine Arts in Belgaum. The other two are S Anil Prakash, principal of Beynon Smith School of Fine Arts, Belgaum and Somanand M Gadakari, alumni of the same school.

It was artist K H Hanchinmani of Haveri who joined them for exhibiting the paintings. Hanchimani has completed his Diploma in Drawing and Painting from Fine Art College, Rattihalli. Both Gadakari and Hanchimani are working as constables in police department.

All the four artists have displayed their paintings at different exhibitions in various places winning the hearts of art lovers.

Monday, December 3, 2007

We need more persons like Chikkodi tahshildar B L Gote

Ther are few people like Mr B L Gote who really serve the public in public intrest

Source www.newindpress.com 3 Dec 2007

BELGAUM: Unable to bear it any longer the mounting public grievance about cooking-gas shortage, Chikkodi tahshildar B L Gote, on Saturday made a surprise check on Swastik Gas Agency at Nippani, and finding the agency sitting over the stock, set himself down to distribute the gas cylinders to the waiting consumers.

Gote found to his dismay that the agency had not issued a single cylinder to its customers for over two weeks.

He counted 815 on the roll waiting for their refill. Further he detected 189 filled cylinders in the godown.

A truck-laden with 489 refilled cylinders had arrived to the godown when the tahshildar was checking the records.

The official and his team made themselves comfortable in the godown for four hours and distributed the cylinders.

Gote has also taken the trouble to ring up the waiting customers at their homes and told them to collect their cylinders.

Later, the tahshildar called the oil company concerned and instructed it to send another load of cylinders so as to clear the backlog.

Meanwhile, a media corp had assembled to witness the unusual activity of a duty-conscious tahshildar.

He told reporters that he would report the matter to the Deputy Commissioner and recommend action against the gas agency.

Gote also visited two fair-price ration shops which were reported closed while they are supposed to be open.

He telephoned the shop owners and asked them to come to spot, and made them keep open the shops for the scheduled time - from 8 am to 12 noon and from 4 pm to 8 pm everyday.

He warned of cancelling the licenses if he gets any more complaint from the people.

Giving the official a helping hand were the Taluk Food and Civil Supplies Department officer B S Halage, spe, special tahshildar S M Nayak, and a team of official functionaries.