MYSURU:Nanjangud Rasabale, a banana variety and Mysore Mallige (jasmine), the specialities of the region which are on the verge of extinction, are set to get a big boost.
The government plans to announce a special subsidy for these horticulture crops, according to Horticulture deputy director Nagraj.
He said the unit cost of these crops will be worked out soon. Both these crops have the Geographical Indication tag. It is not just the government, farmers growing Rasabale have come together to check the slide of this most-sought-after fruit. The total area under cultivation is just 30 acres as of today.
Ever since the Panama wilt disease hit the crop, the produce reduced sharply and the farmers switched over to other high-yielding and disease-resistant varieties like Grand 9 and Robusta (elakki banana).
But now the farmers of Devarasanahalli and Kathrahalli and neighbouring areas have decided to share information and help one another to ensure that more farmers are encouraged to grow Rasabale.
The high demand for Rasabale has forced the shopkeepers to sell it at Rs 10 to Rs 12 per banana.
The Horticulture Department too is trying to revive this variety. It has taken the tissue culture of Rasabale and grown about 2,000 plants at its farm on the Kukkarahalli tank bed. It plans to distribute these plants to farmers and those interested in growing it.
The department plans to grow Mysore Mallige and Mysore betel leaves too in a big way. While rapid urbanisation and real estate boom in recent years has forced people to give up cultivation of betel leaves, there are not many takers for growing Mysore jasmine as it is labour intensive.
Infosys Steps In
The Infosys campus, spread over 400 acres, will soon be filled with the fragrance of Mysore jasmine. The company will plant 300 jasmine plants. The horticulture farm at Kukkarahalli lake has more than 5,000 Mysore jasmine shrubs.