Organic marigolds from Raibag go global

BELAGAVI: This farmer of Koligudd village of Raibag taluk has brought about a revolutionary change in the life of other farmers through organic farming in every crop.
Hanamantgauda Halaki, 45, is a BSc graduate who owns 20 acres and continues his father’s organic methods of agriculture even now.

Hanamantgauda, who went to Germany in 2010 to attend the international agro exhibition Biopach, met representatives of AVT, a California-based company which needed marigolds grown organically. Getting training and guidance from them, he came home and started growing marigold on 4 acres and succeeded in convincing other farmers too to grow it. For the past four years, about 800 farmers from Koligudd and surrounding area have been growing marigolds organically on 2,000 acres and through Hanamantgauda, they export 5,000-6,000 tonnes of marigold every year. As the company has pre-decided the price of marigold at Rs 9 per kg, the farmers are ensured of a fixed profit. These organic farmers get on an average 10 tonnes of marigold on 1 acre in 100 to 120 days crop for which they spend Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000.