Dandeli may soon become cinnamon hub | Hubballi News – Times of India


DANDELI: Dandeli, the tourist hotspot in Uttara Kannada popular for river rafting, may soon become a hub for cinnamon. The cultivation of this spice is steadily growing at Joida, Kumbharwada and Gund in the district.
According to a guesstimate, about 200 farmers in Joida taluk have taken up cinnamon cultivation although there is no organised market. The main reason for this shift — from growing paddy, coconut and arecanut — is wildlife. No wild animal feeds on this spice-producing tree as the wild cinnamon variety is aplenty in the woods.
Shantaram Shubhendu Kamat, a coconut farmer, has planted 700 cinnamon saplings on 4acre land as an inter-crop. According to him, the quill or the bark of the tree has high demand apart from leaves, which is widely used in making biriyani. “Many farmers, including four of my friends, are engaging in cinnamon farming and it requires less water. Like Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga and Kodagu districts, Dandeli too receives good rainfall and has chill weather conducive to grow the spice,” he said.
Kamat said he has bought the Kokan Pej variety from Dapoli in Maharashtra. “Now we know there is a small market in Yallapur. Traders there procure bark and sell it to those who produce powder. The buds of this spice, like clove, has a good market and it is sold for Rs 1,200/kg,” he said.
Another grower Narasimha told TOI that its cultivation has increased over the last two years. He added that saplings are planted in rows and the crop is harvested once a year. “Harvesting the bark requires certain skills. As the yield is growing, market will be created. Like how Chikkamagaluru is known for coffee, Dandeli will soon become a major hub for cinnamon in the state,” he said.
Narasimha said that a majority of farmers are fed up with wildlife feeding on their arecanut, coconut, plantain, paddy and other crops. Having discovered that wild animals do not eat cinnamon due to various reasons, farmers are taking up its cultivation in a big way.
The deputy director of horticulture department of Uttara Kannada said to boost this spice, they would visit these areas and spread awareness on subsidy — the department provides Rs 20,000 for this crop as it is not grown in abundance. “There is no organised market now, but it will soon be created. The Spices Board is also facilitating farmers in cinnamon cultivation,” the officer explained.
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Sagar Biswas

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