Farmers repent for not selecting NS 295 Watermelon.
Growers upset as watermelons shrink.
Please refer to the article below in Deccan chronicle
The markets are flooded with them as people relish the cool sweetness of watermelons in a scorching summer.
While most growers are raking in the moolah, farmers of Ankola taluk, Uttar Kannada district, who usually produce the largest quantity of the fruit with its hard green cover and juicy red interior, have this year become disgruntled bystanders, watching others grow rich while their stunted and disfigured melons have few takers.
And most are blaming the low quality seeds they were sold by a merchant from Haveri.
With 150 farmers growing watermelon over 500 acres, the fruit dominates the fields in Ankola taluk. But instead of acres of healthy fruit, all you can see are the long faces of farmers left with a poor crop and huge losses. So angry are the growers that they have lodged a police complaint against the seed merchant, S.K. Patil.
“Every year we buy the Namdhari 295 variety of seed from Bidadi. But this year a merchant called S.K. Patil came to our doorsteps claiming to have a better variety of seed that would increase our yield. Because of its easy availability, about 90 per cent of the farmers in Ankola bought the seed, only to find that they had been cheated,” says Aravinda Vittobha Naik of Ankola who has filed a case with the police against the vendor.
Although the farmers paid Patil Rs 350 for 100 grams of the seed as against Rs 280 for 100 grams that they usually paid for the seeds in Bidadi, they got a crop of undersized watermelons. Their losses are huge as they are able to sell the watermelons for merely Rs 500 a tonne as against Rs 8,000 a tonne in the past.
Naik for instance has got a return of a mere Rs 10,000 on an investment of Rs 1 lakh, living him bitterly resentful and worried Some are in worse trouble than others as they had borrowed money from moneylenders at high interest rates to invest in their crop. They are now hoping for justice from the law.