Agriculture in Karnataka Part-2

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Khushki land crops are called “devamatruka” which means, “gift of God”. Irrigated land crops are called “nadimatruka” which means “gift of water from a flowing river”. The main irrigation crop is “batta” or paddy. Although during the rainy season, paddy is cultivated in khushki land. Paddy is grown mainly thrown transplantation. The crops take about three to four months to grow. They perform “koylu puja” before harvesting the crops. After cutting the crops, they leave them on the fields for a few days before transporting it to the “kana” or threshing yard. Once they have separated the grains from the straw, they use winnowing to separate the chaff. They then fill the grains into gunny bags and transport them to their homes via bullock carts, where they sun-dry the paddy for a few days, and then store it. “Kabbu” or sugarcane is another cash crop of irrigated land. The land for sugarcane is prepared by plowing the land, two to three times. The farmers sow good and healthy sugarcane having a minimum of three nodes in furrows, which assists in the process of irrigation. After about fifteen days of sowing, sprouts emerge from the nodal points. After one field of sugarcane has grown successfully, the farmers adopt intercultural operations such as earth, which is known as “sannamuri” which means, “small ridges”. Due to this process, the seedlings grow in clumps. Once the sugarcane has grown to a height of three to four feet, the farmers add ten to fifteen bullock carts filled with compost and manure to the soil. After this stage, farmers make ridges on both sides of the sugarcane row. They are called “doddamuri”, which means “bigger ridges”. Flowers usually begin to emerge in sugarcane crops after a year. Its flowers are called juulangi or suulangi. Crops are usually ready to be harvested after eleven to twelve months. For harvesting purposes, farmers use a sickle called “capagodli”. They remove the leaves, which are called “raved", and branched tips, which are called “sonde”. They leave this trash in the field, which they later burn. This acts as a manure for the next crop, which is sugarcane ratoon. New shoots of sugarcane ratoon emerge out of the basal parts that have been left behind from the sugarcane crops. Usually, ratoon crops are not grown until after two to three years. Although Dr. D. R. Prafullachandra, an eminent farmer from the Shivamoga district has changed the sugarcane scene in Karnataka. From 1970 to 2008, he has produced a record number of sugarcane crops in his fields. He has also several farmers follow in his footsteps of not burning waste in his fields and using the leftovers from his crops as manure. After harvesting, sugarcanes are transported to sugar factories for the manufacturing of sugar. Some factories also sell their sugarcane crops to jaggery making houses known as “aalemane”. The juice from crushed sugarcane, which is known as “aalekuuni” is collected in barrels. The leftover sugarcane after crushing is used in jaggery houses as fuel. The collected juice is boiled in broad metallic structures called “kopparige”. The making of jaggery is a skilled process that is conducted by “hadagaararu” or jaggery cooks. Once the juice begins to boil, all the dirt comes to the top, which is collected in circular metallic instruments called “maddikukke”. Later, the boiled jaggery is transferred into a wooden pit. After the jaggery has cooled, it is prepared into round or square pellets. Unlike dry land and irrigation crops, plantation crops need more attention and things like suitable soil, specific land, water supply, labor requirements, and availability should be kept in mind. The important plantation crops in Karnataka are banana, coconut, areca nut, and betel vine. “Baalehannu” or banana is a very popular fruit during all seasons in Karnataka. A good irrigation system is very essential for this crop. Before planting bananas, the lands should be plowed and made plain. The suckers are planted in pits that are five feet wide and deep and are filled with organic manure. It is irrigated once a week. After about a month, the suckers sprout. After about ten to twelve months, the crops would have grown to a height of ten feet. Bananas are very susceptible to diseases such as fungus disease and leaf curl disease. The majority of the diseases can be prevented if the tubers are treated with chemicals such as passy fluoride, listen, and radon granules.