My 2 paisas

Trip to Malavalli – Need to write proper blog out of this

Posted on: June 2, 2011

Trip to Malavalli village
Left at 8:00 am on Saturday from Kalasipalya, in a bus to Haleguru
Reached at around 12:00.
Directly went visited Boregowda’s house.
KrishnaGowda explained in detail what is happening in the silk market.
Mr. Shrinivasa, a sericulturist himself and a neighbor of Mr. Boregowda also joined KrishnaGowda and explained the scenario.
There was a lot of excitement amongst people and many inciteful questions unlike the questions that were being asked to KrishnaGowda and Boregowda by the media during Candle Light Vigil.
Meanwhile during the questionnaire, I moved out of the group and I chatted with Mr. Mahadeva. He is just around 21 yrs old but looks much older due to the toughness of the work in the fields. He is also the cousin of the deceased lady. He explains to me that he is the only male in his family and that is the reason that even though he has finished JOC(Finance and Banking) after his 10th with 68%, he hasn’t gone to city for work. He has 5 acres of land. He says they grow Sesame and groundnut during rainy season and mulberry leaves during other seasons.
Then had a very tasty lunch in the house of Mr. Boregowda. Village people were eager to serve us and even though it was about 3:00, not even the children of the house had had their lunch since we the guest, hadn’t had lunch.
Since our introduction to each other in the group had been postponed due to lack of time in the pre-lunch session, we start it after lunch. Each one also tells us how and why he/she became a part of the group.
Then we divide in two groups. First group which plans to stay during the night and second which plans to go back to Bangalore in the evening. As I was planning to leave in the evening, I join the second group.
The plan for the second group was to visit a nearby village and interact with sericulturist in the village. A farmer from the other village guides us to his village. It is around 1 km from_______ and as we walk on the straight road with fields on both its sides, he looks at the sky in the far and informs that it is going to rain heavily and we need to hurry. We ask him if we will be able to see any cocoons in his village, and he says that he knows a farmer who is cultivating it at this time.
As we walk, I discuss the various doubts I had with Jayakumar. The problem of the loan that Mr. Boregowda’s son had taken needed to be repaid. We had initiated a process to create FD for Rs. 10,000 each per child which will be given to the children only each of them reaches the age of 18 under the care of their grandfather. However, this money even though useful will not solve the problem of the loan that BoreGowda had to repay now. Jayakumar clarified my doubt by saying that we as a group cannot function as a charitable organization as we might loose focus to the main issue in that case. Even though the loan was an issue, trying to solve it will only misdirect the current focus which was to make the government to change the policy and get the import tax back to 30.66% instead of the current 5%.
Also, I had a doubt of why the farmers in India cannot group together and cultivate like the big farm industry in the West by using machines and other technology. To this, Jayakumar said that in India there were around 70% farmer population out of which 50% were farm laborers.

Interaction with Mr. Mahadeva
Being 21 year old, he is the only earning member in his house. He has finished his JOC(Finance and Banking) but did not go to city as he did not want to leave the land uncultivated. He has around 5 acres of land and cultivates Sesame and groundnut during rainy season and mulberry leaves for silkworms for the rest of the year.
Are many children going to school in the village?
Not till the present generation, but from this generation, nearly all children attend school. Infact most of the children actually go to convent private school which has a fees of about Rs. 3000 even when the government school provide free education and mid-day meal. In each class of the government school, there are hardly 7-8 children where as in the convent school there are around 20-25 children in the convent school. The parents are regularly informed in the convent school about the progress of the child and since even parents have paid fees, even they show interest.
What can you do if the government does nothing for the improvement of the farmers?
We can not do anything. We are hoping for people like you in the city to help us.
Do the villagers regularly meet and discuss regarding the present condition of the market?
No, they do not have any such meetings
What do you do when you require loans in case of emergencies?
We take loan mostly from friends and neighbors. MFIs have not yet reached this village but they are money lenders in Haleguru who charge them as much as 5-10% per month.
Have you taken any loans?
No
The present market price for 1 kg of cocoon is Rs. 192. How much do you think is the total investment in the complete production of 1 kg.
It takes atleast Rs. 120-130 investment per kg. We need to invest on the eggs, chemicals and then the irrigation water.
Why cant the villagers join and do farming together?
How can we do farming together. If it were relatives, we could have done it. But with others it is not possible.
I insist on creating a common place where each one of them can keep the worms and maintain the temperature using electricity.
He says it is not possible.

Silkworm to Cocoon:
Villages buy worm eggs from the market which has usualky 300

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