Kodagu First a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Kodagu, Coorgs and the People of Kodagu – here at Home and Overseas
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    The Cauvery river, considered the state's lifeline, has shrunk into a narrow strip today

    The Cauvery river, considered the state’s lifeline, has shrunk into a narrow strip today

    Bengaluru :

    The first drought reported in the recent history of Kodagu district, the birthplace of river Cauvery, seems to have woken up the state government, spiritual organizations and environmentalists.

    In what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind initiative, they have joined hands to take up conservation and management to rejuvenate and restore the river, considered the state’s lifeline, to its former glory. The plan is to restore the flora and fauna of the river’s tributaries in Kodagu with native trees, shrubs and flowers, besides controlling erosion, curbing water-intensive crops like paddy and restricting sand mining in the waterbody.

    “In association with the Art of Living and Kodagu district administration, we have started a five-year programme for the restoration of the river which has shrunk into a narrow strip over the years due to poor monsoon and unrestricted sand mining activities,” said C G Kushalappa, dean of College of Social forestry, Ponnampet, Kodagu, which is attached to University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Shivamogga.

    To start with, Kushalappa said they have chosen a 1km stretch on the banks of river Lakshmanatirtha, a major tributary of Cauvery in Kodagu, starting from Nittur village towards Srimangala in Virajpet taluk. Depending on the success of this pilot project, it will be gradually extended to other parts of Kodagu where the river flows.

    Kushalappa said conservation work would be taken up across 20 metres on both sides of Lakshmanatirtha for five years. “As part of the programme, we’ll visit farmers/planters and request them to give up paddy cultivation close to the river by offering them monetary incentives. They’ll also be encouraged to go for horticulture crops,” he added.

    To ensure a free-flowing river, an action plan has been charted out that includes curbing soil erosion and pollution, planting trees and shrubs of local varieties that existed close to the river since ages and curbing sand mining and fishing activities. “We have to treat different areas differently. While in some areas, rebuilding bunds will be the priority, in others, plantation, including bamboo and pongamia pinnata (honge tree), may be needed. While there are areas where we need to stop pesticides from entering the water, others have issues of encroachment,” said Guddappa M Devagiri, who is overseeing the drive.

    That’s not all. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s Tamil Nadu-based Isha Foundation, which was part of an initiative by the Madhya Pradesh government to restore river Narmada, is reportedly is in talks with the government to launch a similar initiative in Karnataka, said a senior official of Kodagu Zilla panchayat.

    He said the foundation plans to take up a massive tree plantation drive on the banks of Cauvery from Bhagamandala, the confluence of three rivers (Cauvery, Kanika and the Sujyothithe) in Kodagu to Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir in Mandya by involving volunteers. “This project would also involve cooperation from people living in nearby areas, saints and ashrams that have been active in Narmada conservation and all those who care for river conservation and management,” he added.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Bangalore News / by ManuAiyappa Kanathanada / TNN / July 13th, 2017

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    Bengaluru :

    While liquor shops across the country are having to relocate in wake of the implementation of the Supreme Court order banning sale of liquor within 500 metres of national and state highways, a village in Kodagu on the Bengaluru -Mangaluru highway has decided not to allow relocation or reopening of vends.

    A decision against reopening and relocation of liquor vends was taken unanimously at a recent gram sabha meeting in Sampaje village bordering Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada districts.

    The village panchayat president, Balachandra Kalagi, raised the issue during the gram panchayat meeting and presented a written plea by villagers requesting the panchayat not to give `no objection certificate’ for shifting and reopening of closed bars and vends in Sampaje.

    More than 25 letters signed by various organizations in cluding Dharmasthala Gramabrivrdhi Sangha, Shradha centres and self-help groups have been submitted to the panchayat administration urging it to stop liquor sale in Sampaje, to which Kalagi and other office bearers -BR Sundara, Kumara Chidkaru, BA Ganapathi, Tirumala, SN Pushpavathi -have agreed to.

    The villagers have warned of an agitation if liquor shops are reopened.

    “The panchayat has decided to reject applications seeking NOC for relocation or reopening of liquor shops,” said Kalagi.

    He told TOI that the Sam paje village panchayat was among the four panchayats from Karnataka and 30,000 panchayats across the country to have received an award for its developmental efforts. The panchayat taps water flowing downhill and supplies it through a pipeline to its villages namely Pambechal, Chittegana, Kuntikana, Manyadka, Guddegadde, Arekalla and Kalyala.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Bangalore News> Civic Issues / TNN / July 06th, 2017

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    A view of Chelavara Falls in Kodagu.

    A view of Chelavara Falls in Kodagu.

    Kodagu, the birthplace of River Cauvery, takes a new gushing life each monsoon. The district’s every corner comes alive with white streams that flow amidst the forest green. One such angel that falls from 100 feet above is Chelavara Falls in Virajpet taluk.

    Located 15 km from Virajpet town, Chelavara Falls is at Chelavara village, which is 5 km from Cheyyandane Main Road. Travelling on this road, one’s ears are enthralled with the gushing uproar of the falls from 2 km away! Hidden, yet heard amidst the luscious green forest, one has to trek down for about 500 metres on a stony path to witness this seraphic monsoon beauty.

    The first sight of the falls looks like a thick fog hitting the earth with thundering force. Flowing down atop a tortoise shaped rock, Chelavara Falls starts off its journey from Tadiandamol peak, takes its route as a small stream and reaches Chelavara as an angelic cascade. Coming face to face with the falls, the splashes and sprinkles from this gushing water can get one completely drenched in about a second.

    While the monsoons double up the beauty, it also transforms it to a dangerous spot. This angelic falls can turn out to be a beast if the beholder does not heed to the caution boards placed all around, advising people not to enter into the waters. The currents are highduring the monsoons and the place has witnessed many fatal incidents.

    Yet, monsoon is the best time to visit the falls that is to be enjoyed from a distance. Travellers can also hike around the area and savour the forest greenery.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> Spectrum / by Prajna GR / July 04th, 2017

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    July 3rd, 2017adminBusiness & Economy

    A convention of the elected members from Congress party from Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu districts will be held at Adyar Grounds in Mangaluru on July 7.

    B. Ramanath Rai, Minister in-charge of the district, told reporters here on Monday that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and AICC General Secretary K.C. Venugopal will participate in the convention.

    Mr. Rai said elected members and those who were defeated in the elections will be called to the convention organised to work out ways to win all the legislative assembly seats in the two districts. Following the election of C. Harish Kumar as president of Dakshina Kannada Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr. Rai said there will be changes in the block level of the party in the district and have activists who will work 24×7 for the party in the coming months.

    In a ceremony held later, Mr. Kumar took charge of his new post.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Special Correspondent / Mangaluru – July 03rd, 2017

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    Bengaluru :

    A group of environmentalists and activists has come together to try and change the present narrative of development so that Kodagu doesn’t fall prey to unchecked expansion and urbanization.

    During their meeting, the activists agreed to come up with an action plan to safeguard Cauvery’s catchment area in Kodagu and prevent upcoming railway and highway projects from harming the environment.

    Citing the felling of 54,000 trees for the MysoreKozhikode power line via Kodagu, Devika Devaiah, from Save River Cauvery, said such situations shouldn’t be allowed to happen again. Colonel C P Muthanna, president of Coorg Wildlife Society, pointed out that the main stakeholders are not only the inhabitants of Kodagu, but also those living downstream including the residents of Bengaluru, who will be severely affected by water shortage and deforestation. Naresh Narasimhan of Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) said sustainable models of tourism should be introduced in the region. “Development has started to mean destruction. Every project is seen as a way to make money. The reason we were successful in bringing a halt to the steel flyover pro ject was because we pointed out how procedures were bypassed,” he said.

    Prakash Belawadi, also from CfB, said categorization of the Cauvery Basin and Talacauvery as world heritage sites would help in their preservation. “We should not let the region get exploited and allow more treecutting. International attention is required to safeguard it. Petitioning the National Green Tribunal would be a good move to get legal backing,” he said.

    The group also discussed protection of endangered animal species, prevention of unruly urbanization due to transportation projects and acting against commercial lobbies with vested interests.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> News> City News> Bangalore News / by Arpita Raj / TNN / July 02nd, 2017

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    Four elephants were electricuted in an estate in Kodagu.

    Four elephants were electricuted in an estate in Kodagu.

    Following the electrocution of four elephants at an estate in Kodagu on Tuesday, the Forest department has filed a case of abetment and hunting against Chamundeshwari Electricity Corporation Limited (Cesc).

    This is the second such case filed against the power supply corporation this year. This time the Forest department has filed a case after four female elephants came in contact with a snapped high tension live wire at Ammathi Vontiangadi village in Virajpet, Kodagu and died on the spot on Tuesday.

    Manoj Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests, Kodagu Circle, told DH that the case was filed against Cesc and not the estate owner as the deaths were not because of his negligence. A vigilance committee has also been formed to investigate the case. The committee will file a report detailing the causes and practical remedies.

    During an interaction with Ravi Kumar, additional chief secretary, Environment, Forest and Ecology, in Kodagu on Wednesday, the Energy department showed interest in joining hands with the Forest department to shift all the existing and new cables under ground.

    “Shifting of cables will cost around Rs 3,000 crore. Instead, the department can spend Rs 200 crore on strengthening and enhancing forest areas and corridors. Following the high court orders, the power supply companies have invested crores of rupees in erecting 22,000 poles to ensure that cables are not hanging, posing threat to the elephants. But this has shown limited effect,” Kumar said.

    Meanwhile, the Forest department has intensified the search for land around the forest patches and near the elephant corridors to purchase them and increase the forest patch. A senior Forest department official said that since the estate owners are also worried, getting land with the funds assured by the state government will be easy and quick.

    “We have also started training estate owners and workers on how to react when confronted with an elephant. Erecting more fences will only aggravate the problem. There is a need for people to understand the problem. The department has spent around Rs 1 crore towards crop loss compensation in last one year. The number of conflict cases have also increased. Due to drought over the last two years, some estate owners have extended their support in helping us resolve man-elephant conflict,” Kumar added.

    WhatsApp group formed

    For the first time, the Forest and Energy departments together have created a WhatsApp group for Kodagu division. They have brought all the ground staff of both the departments together to give quick ground information and provide timely help.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> State / by Bosky Khanna / DH News Sercive, Bengaluru / June 30th, 2017

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    June 30th, 2017adminAgriculture, Business & Economy

    Decline in rainfall forces govt to extend scheme to Malnad.

    The Krishi Bhagya scheme, introduced by the state government to help farmers, has been extended to Malnad, hilly areas and coastal districts.

    Accordingly, the scheme will be introduced in Kodagu in the current year. The scheme was implemented in 2014-15 to help farmers cultivate dry land, mainly due to vagaries of monsoon and was restricted to 23 districts and 107 taluks.

    The farming activities in district, however, had taken a set back the last few years with deficit rain. There has been decline in rainfall over the years in Kushalnagar, Somwa­rpet, Shanthalli, Shanivarasanthe and Kodlipete region.

    “Although the district has the Harangi reservoir, it has covered only 2,000 hectare farm land. About 400 hectare land was irrigated through the Chiklihole dam. The government introduced the scheme aimed at harvesting rainwater to protect crop during a crucial time through farm ponds. It also supports horticulture crops, mixed cropping and dairy farming” Agriculture Department joint director K Ramappa told DH.

    “Financial assistance will be provided for digging farm ponds, subsidy for diesel or solar pump sets. In the scheme, around 90% subsidy was given to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes beneficiaries and 80% to the general category beneficiaries, 50% subsidy for a polyhouse,” he added.

    “The application forms are available at the offices of the joint director and the assistant agriculture officer and the Raitha Samparka Kendra. The target in the district is to dig 300 farm ponds,” said Ramappa.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District / by Aditya K A / DH News Service / Madikeri – June 21st, 2017

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    Madikeri :

    Jubilant Congress supporters celebrated the loan waiver scheme announced by CM Siddaramaiah to distressed farmers in the city.

    Napoklu block congress President B S Ramanath led the procession with former President Naramonda Umesh, state forest development board vice President Padmini Ponappa also attended.

    Chanting pro-government slogans, the procession passed through private bus stand and through main roads of the city. Sweets also distributed to public.

    By waiving farmer’s loans the Congress government shows that its policies are pro farmer and urged Central Government to step in to waive loans from nationalised bank, as the UPA government done during former PM Manmohan tenure.

    Speaking to reporters, district congress labour union president V P Shashidar said, by announcing farmer loan waiver up to 50,000 rupees, the state government came to the rescue of poor farmers who are debt ridden.

    Former district president KK Manjunath while speaking on the occasion said, the Congress government policies are always pro poor and farmer loan waiver is an another bold step, opined the leader.


    source: http://www.citytoday.news / CityToday / Home> Headlines> Prime News – Karnataka / by CT Bureau / Madikeri – June 28th, 2017

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    Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurating a public meeting at Mudigere in Chikkamagaluru district on Thursday.

    Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurating a public meeting at Mudigere in Chikkamagaluru district on Thursday.

    Demands include support to coffee cultivation and checking elephant menace

    Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman interacted with coffee growers at Mudigere on Thursday. The growers placed a number of demands before her, including finding a permanent solution to the elephant menace.

    Representatives of Karnataka Growers’ Federation, Black Gold League and other organisations participated in the interaction.

    B.L. Shankar, coffee planter and former MP, said the production of Arabica coffee had been declining every year. He wanted the government to take steps to support Arabica cultivation.

    “Coffee cultivation has been hit by many problems; there is also shortage of workers,” he said.

    Lok Sabha member Shobha Karandlaje stressed the need for research to address the stem borer attack, which had been causing huge losses to the growers.

    C.T. Ravi, Chikkamagaluru MLA, wanted an ESI hospital in Chikkamagaluru, as there were a large number of workers in the plantations. Black Gold League president Kenjige Keshava appealed to the Minister to set up a spices park in Chikkamagaluru.

    Interest waiver

    Representatives of Karnataka Growers’ Federation sought waiver of interest on coffee loans and also five instalments to repay the dues.

    B.S. Jairam, chairman of the federation, told The Hindu: “We submitted a memorandum listing all our demands. We have sought waiver of interest and bringing down interest on loans. We have also urged the government to take measures to check elephant menace in Hassan, Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu districts.”

    Ms. Sitharaman said the government would take steps to increase coffee production and expand its market overseas.

    “Growers in Andhra Pradesh, who began coffee cultivation only a few years ago, have succeeded in marketing it in America. If they could do, why can’t the growers in Hassan, Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru do?” she asked. The government was committed to encouraging coffee growers. After many years, and for the first time, a coffee planter had been appointed chairman of the Coffee Board. This showed the government’s commitment to supporting coffee cultivation, she added.

    Coffee Board chairman M.S. Boje Gowda was present during the interaction.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States / by Special Correspondent / Chikkamagaluru – June 16th, 2017

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    WildKaapi01KF03jun2017 Wild Kaapi, your morning coffee comes from certified estates that support gaurs, elephants and monkeys, along with Arabica beans

    Under the cool canopy of native trees in the Western Ghats, coffee bushes spread out, gleaming with red berries. In the early morning hours, if you are lucky, you may spot rare species like the Malabar grey hornbill, water snow flat butterfly or the Asian fairy bluebird among these shade-loving plants. And now, thanks to the efforts of Wild Kaapi — the world’s first ‘certified wildlife-friendly’ coffee brand — you can ensure your morning brew comes from plantations that foster fauna on their lands. Started by wildlife conservationist, Krithi K Karanth — who has has been working in the Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot, for the last 19 years — and her husband, Avinash Sosale, the coffee brand got its certification this April and opened its doors to buyers last month.

    (photo credit: Ramki Sreenivasan)

    (photo credit: Ramki Sreenivasan)

    Live and let live

    Wild Kaapi started as an offshoot of a three-year research project (part of a grant by the National Science Foundation to study coffee, areca and rubber plantations in the Western Ghats). Karanth, of the Centre for Wildlife Studies — with Paul Robbins of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dr Ashwini Chhatre of University of Illinois — measured biodiversity, and studied labour practices and market dynamics of the farming areas.

    During the project, she interacted with over 1,000 planters in the three coffee growing areas of Karnataka — Kodagu, Chikmagalur, and Hassan — and realised how frustrated they were “because they weren’t getting value for their coffee due to the middlemen involved”. That’s when the idea for Wild Kaapi originated, and the duo is now exploring new ways to get a premium price for products that support wildlife. “This includes social enterprises that can contribute to conservation action. (After all) traditional wildlife conservation relies heavily on donors,” says Sosale, who quit a career in automotive business to be a part of the venture. “At this stage we have two commitments: we have told coffee growers we will pay them the highest price, and, with the profit we generate, we will build a conservation fund to award grants to young conservationists,” he adds.


    Animal tales

    Millennials are more discerning towards coffee, observes Sosale. “Today’s consumer is informed. Ethical and conscious consumption is what we want to tap into.” To qualify for certification, the coffee not only had to have a good cupping (tasting) score, but the plantation had to support a vast biodiversity. Of the more than 187 farms they audited (recording the species of birds, butterflies, mammals, amphibians and trees), only four made the cut: Agora (with 124 species), Bindiga (137), Hulikere (119) and Cornerstone (120). Wild Kaapi has named their single-origin Arabicas after the plantations they are sourced from.


    Shreedev Hulikere, a third-generation coffee grower with 60 acres in Chikmagalur, who is partnering with Wild Kaapi, says he wasn’t aware of the numerous wildlife species on their estate till now. “While my ancestors traditionally hunted, I’m a conservationist. I tell my labourers not to destroy any bird nests. I know that barbets nest here and they eat the borer worms that destroy coffee. Similarly, I’m not going to chase away the monkeys and civets that eat my coffee because I’m being compensated elsewhere. Just because a porcupine destroys a pepper creeper, I’m not going to hunt it down,” he says.

    Love thy neighbour

    The audit also revealed a few surprises. “We found frogs listed as endangered or threatened in the IUCN Red List (the world’s most comprehensive inventory of global conservation status) at these plantations,” says Karanth. The certification not only places their coffee in a premium space, but also paves the way for a new movement. “If you have wildlife-friendly practices, you can promote sustainable agriculture. We are trying to establish a new model — a profitable enterprise that also enables better livelihoods. This hasn’t been tried before; it’s a new way of thinking,” says Karanth.

    (photo credit: Ramki Sreenivasan)

    (photo credit: Ramki Sreenivasan)

    While their immediate goal is to prove that such a model is sustainable, Sosale is also mulling introducing coffee scrubs, soaps, candles and flavourings — all huge product lines in the international space. Moving into pepper and cardamom, which grow hand-in-hand with coffee, also holds much promise.

    Prices start at ₹390 for 250 gms.

    To know more, and buy the coffee, check out wildkaapi.com.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Life & Style> Homes and Gardens / by Bhumika K / June 02nd, 2017

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