Varthur farmers find it hard to sell produce

Local markets refuse to buy their farm produce and BBMP has banned them from using the lake water.

Farmer are selling their lands, where big towers are being constructed

Bangalore, November 21, 2017:The farmers of Ramagondanahalli have faced huge monetary losses since a year and half due rapid increase in urbanisation.

“I used to grow carrots and cabbages earlier. But now I have shifted to spinach and navakoll,” said Murali, who owns a small agricultural land in Imdahalli area of Ramagondanahalli.

The clean water of Varthur Lake earlier helped the farmers to earn a decent amount of nearly Rs. 10,000 to Rs.15,000 monthly until the water got contaminated. But now their monthly income has come down to approximately Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 8,000. The BBMP has directed them to stop using the lake’s water completely.

The local markets refuse to buy products from these farmers and thus it has resulted in decrease of their incomes. They either come to K R Market or sell their produce to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) market.

“I have a supermarket near to my office from where I buy my vegetables daily. The vegetables sold near my home stink sometimes. I prefer to carry the load of vegetables all the way from my office which is nearly 25 kms away rather than feeding unhygienic food to my family,” said Meenakshi, one of the residents of Imdahalli.

“We lie to the traders about the use of polluted water in the cultivation process because if we tell the truth they obviously will not buy our products,” added Nagraj.

“It is illegal to use Varthur’s water but still we do it. We are not that rich that we can afford a technologically advanced method of pulling water till our farms. We were and still are dependent on Varthur Lake, how-much-ever polluted it is,” said Nagraj, another farmer from Ramagondanahalli.

This situation has  madefarmers sell their lands  to earn their livelihoods. Sanjeev, who used to own a  carrots and a paddy farm, sold his land two and a half years ago and now is a real estate agent. Also, the concept of house farming or terrace gardening is evolving rapidly in the city. . “I grow bitter gourd, lady’s finger, ginger and many more small crops needed daily on my terrace. This helps me maintain some amount of hygiene. I took this decision after seeing the adverse condition of the green areas in the city and also after realising the dirty methods used for cultivation,” said Manikand, a Bangalorean engaged in terrace farming since three years.

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