The fate of the Harikale Menasu is in the hands of these farmers, and they have vowed to protect it.
A dedicated group of farmers in Karnataka is on a singular mission – to save a rare type of chilli that might go extinct if there isn’t some kind if immediate intervention.
So, they are ready to do whatever it takes to ensure that doesn’t happen.
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Image for representation. Photo source: Wikimedia
According to a report in Mathrubhumi, there is a type of chilli called Harikale Menasu that used to be a very popular yield in Karnataka but its production has vastly been reduced in the recent times. The chilli is grown along the banks of Nethravathi river in the state and production is restricted to just 5 acres of land. Worried about the shrinking production, farmers from the three villages (Harikale, Ambalamugaru and Paavur) that fall under the territory have taken it upon themselves to save it – with some help from the government.
Supported by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the farmers have joined hands with Karnataka Rajya Raytha Sangham, Indian Agricultural Research Institute and Mangaluru Agricultural Information Centre to make sure this chilli stays in production. To that end they have announced that 50 acres of land starting next year will be dedicated towards growing this specific type of chilli.
One of the reasons why Harikale Menasu is going out of favour in production is because it’s far more expensive that other types of chilli. While other types of chilli cost about ₹150 a kilo, these are over three times that, priced at ₹425 per kilo. But with the kind of commitment these villages have pledged, Harikale Menasu is looking to make a big comeback soon.