A four-day organic mela began on the Akkana Balaga premises here on Saturday.
The exhibition-cum-sale aims to popularise organically cultivated food crops and provide an opportunity for customers to buy organic produce directly from producers.
On display are foodgrains such as rice and millets, their value-added products, fruits and vegetables, and medicines. Padmarekha, Navara and red rice are among the local rice varieties available, while rare varieties of indigenous paddy and ragi are on display.
The mela has been organised by Sahaja Samruddha and the Deshpande Foundation. Members of Malenadu Paddy Growers’ Association and Desi Krushikara Balaga are among the organic farmers taking part.
Inaugurating the mela, the former Mayor and physician Pandurang Patil noted the health and nutrition value of organic produce. Such vegetables and foodgrains may not look attractive or be of a large size, especially when compared to those cultivated using chemical fertilizer, but they were more nutritious and tastier, he said.
He stressed the importance of following an indigenous diet for one’s health and promoting traditional food.
Dr. Patil promised to help open an organic food stall on the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation premises.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime and Traffic) Shrinath Joshi released ‘Namma Anna’ brand of ‘desi’ rice.
Sahaja Samruddha director G. Krishnaprasad, Desi Krushikara Balaga president Channabasappa Kombali and Savayava Krishikara Balaga president Veerannagouda Patil were among those present.
The mela is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.