Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru (MS)
Mangaluru, Sep 19: Sugarcane is a must for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. It is surprising to know that a small village in Mangaluru is supplying sugarcane to both Dakshina Kannada (DK) and Udupi districts.
Balkunje, a small village of Mulky taluk of Dakshina Kannada district supplies the sugarcane requirement of both the districts. More than 45 farmer families grow sugarcane in this village on a vast area of 50 acres.
Sugarcane is grown here mainly to cater harvest festival (Monthi Fest) of Christians, which is celebrated on September 8 and for Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Farmers start sowing seeds for sugarcane in the month of November and December and harvest the crop in August and September.
In the month of June itself, sugarcane traders visit Balkunje and pay in advance for the sugarcane quantity that they need. A bundle of 12 sugarcanes is given to the traders. They take the same to the market and sell it to general public.
Farmers of Balkunje are growing sugarcane for the past 40 years completely through organic farming. The work of cutting the sugarcane after the crop is ready is done by migrant labourers of North Karnataka origin.
This year black variety of sugarcane has got a price of Rs 25 per piece while the white one is being sold for Rs 35. Nearly 10,000-15000 sugarcanes are grown per acre. This is the main income of the farming families of Balkunje.