BANGALORE: A cotton farmer from Haveri district, who cultivated 23 varities of cotton was awarded by the Karnataka State Biodiversity Board members and KRRS leader Kodihalli Chandrashekar in the city on Thursday.
Nagappa Nimbegondi produces rare varieties including Abhadhita, Sahana, DCH 32 and Jayadhar among others.
With an aim to create a seed bank for the endangered varieties of cotton, Nimbegodi wants to change the perception that BT will have better output and market price. For the last four years, he has been using chemical fertiliser and BT cotton. However, after analysing the results over a period of time, he slowly moved to organic farming and continued with BT for some part of his land. After seven years of study, he concluded organic variety was fetching him a better market price with lesser input cost.
“There are several varieties of cotton which are hard to find today. Close to 90 per cent of the area under cotton cultivation in Karnataka are BT. So, I want to bring back the traditional practice. For that I need to create a seed bank and distribute it to farmers,” Nimbegondi said.
He claims that his fertiliser and input cost is almost 70 per cent lesser than the farmers who use BT. He added that he getd around six to eight quintals per acre compared to BT contton growers who get eight to 10 quintals per acre. Though his yield is low, he said he received better market price for his produce.
“Farmers in the villages still do not believe me and think I am a fool. However what they are not realising is the cotton which I produce fetches double the price than what they get. Unless the farmer is in a position to control the price, he’ll be exploited,” he added.