Chamarajanagar: Selfie craze of people gives extra income to sunflower farmers
Sunflower growers have found a small additional source of income from people who have craze for taking selfies in their fields in Gundlupet taluk in Chamarajanagar district.
Chamarajanagar: Sunflower growers have found a small additional source of income from people who have craze for taking selfies in their fields in Gundlupet taluk in Chamarajanagar district. The major crops of the district are turmeric, ragi and sugarcane.
More and more farmers have taken to growing sunflower in Gundlupet taluk as it is a short-term crop and fetches more income as cooking oil prices have soared by 80 percent in the past one year. Vast stretches of yellow sunflower fields along the national highways Nos 67 and 766 are attracting a large number of tourists.
Fascinated by the swaying sunflowers on both sides of the road, motorists rush into the fields to take selfies. This has become a source of income for farmers.
As these highways connect Kerala and Tamil Nadu, thousands of vehicles pass on the highway. The number of tourists during weekends swells and people from nearby areas also visit the farms to take selfies. Local tourists as well those from Kerala Tamil Nadu visiting Bandipur Safari and Himavad Gopal Swamy Hills stop by to spend time enjoying the scenic beauty of the sunflower gardens and take selfies.
A farmer, M Kumar, in Kalligowdanahalli told this reporter that they charge Rs 20-Rs 30 from each tourist to take photos. He said even some collect Rs 50 and some even have put up signboards proclaiming the fee for seflies. He said it is an extra income for farmers as they are in distress owing to poor rainfall.
Echoing the sentiments, another farmer, Mahadeva Swamy, said that shortage of rain fall has badly affected the crop this season. He is growing sunflower in three acres and normally it should yield 18 quintals. Because of poor rainfall, he may not get more than 6 quintals.
When contacted, S Rangaswamy, assistant director of agriculture, told this paper that sunflower is being grown in 12,342 hectares in the area.