Bidar district known as ‘The Crown of Karnataka’ is blessed with rich history, culture, architecture, national resources and agricultural produce. Located in North Karnataka, Bidar has the ideal climatic conditions (hot dry summers, cold winters and decent rainfall in the monsoon) and a mixture of clayey, red loamy, deep alluvial black calcareous clayey, deep black clayey, deep lateritic gravelly clay and deep lateritic clayey soils that are ideal for growing sorghum, red gram, bengal gram, soybean, green gram, sugarcane, sunflower, wheat, tamarind, turmeric, ginger, tomato, brinjal, onion, mango, papaya, grape, banana and citrus as well as a wide variety of flowers like jasmine, rose, marigold, chrysanthemum and the ornamental tuberose.
In fact, every crop grown in the kharif and rabi season by small and marginal farmers are in great demand in the local market bordering the states of Maharashtra and Telangana. The farmers largely adopt the age-old practice of integrated cropping to use their resources and land to the maximum. They keep cows, buffaloes, sheep, a small poultry farm and grow as many as six to eleven crops on their lands. Small patches of fig, cashew, ginger, watermelon, lime, drumstick, brinjal, mango, papaya, coriander, curry leaf and turmeric generate a good profit.
The biggest success story in recent years has been ginger cultivation that thrives in these dry lands which face acute water scarcity on very little investment. Scientific technology and timely assistance from self-help groups and the government has helped farmers earn revenue from the popular genotype Humnabad Local.
Humnabad Local has registered the highest output particularly in the rabi season when a significant portion of land is left fallow due to scarcity of water. The fresh yield per hectare and dry recovery is the highest among the genotypes grown here.
Humnabad Local has high dry rhizome and recovery of oleoresin oil which is the main reason it is in great demand among domestic as well as international buyers. Oleoresin, commercially known as ‘Gingerin’ is extracted from dried ginger and finds an important place in the food industry.
It is estimated that Karnataka has exported ginger worth 51,09,07,840.80 INR from Bidar to Bangladesh, Morocco, Egypt, Germany and Indonesia and plans to export to USA, Netherlands, Japan and Europe.
As ginger is an important cash crop, processing units and value-added products will go a long way to provide steady income to the farmers and employment to the locals of the district. Ginger pickle, ginger paste and dry ginger powder are sold in the local market and are a must-buy.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
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