Mangaluru, June 25, 2017: At the launch of the scheme meant to encourage farmers to adopt ’Krishi Honda’ (agriculture pond) and mechanised farming method with a thrust on transplantation of paddy saplings with the help of rotavator at Nada village in Belthangady taluk, the minister elaborated on advantages of the scheme. Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda on Friday appealed to farmers in the region to make use of Krishi Bhagya, the state government’s ambitious scheme, which has now been extended to coastal belt.
Quoting a survey undretaken by the state government for a comparative study on the yield at those farms equipped with ponds and those without this facility, the minister said, "Those having ponds have succeeded in reaping the benefit of more yield in the range of 30% to 120% against traditional farming methods where the farmers are largely dependent on rain or borewells."
The rainwater will be collected in the ponds and it can be used for farming even after rainy season, he stressed.
Beneficiaries Cheluvamma, wife of Lakshmegowda, Nada village, became the first woman to avail of the benefit, with agriculture pond built in the land attached to her house. The pond measuring 10 metre x10 metre is three metre deep, with a capacity to store 220 cubic metres (CMT) of water. It is sufficient for an acre of land against her 3.4 acres of land.
While the government provides 80% subsidy towards total expenditure of Rs 23,957 on building the pond, she has to bear the remaining expenditure of 20%.
Similarly, farmer Ajith Kumar Ariga reaped the benefit of mechanised paddy sowing. The minister himself demonstrated the method of mechanised farming, at the land.
Shivakumar Magada, director of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Dakshina Kannada, said that the pond can be used for breeding fishes, thus ensuring double income for the farmers.
MLA Vasanth Bangera, also the chairman of Karnataka Small Industries Development Corporation, Zilla Panchayat president Meenakshi Shanthigodu, vice-president Kasturi Panja, Director of Agriculture B Y Srinivas and other officials were present.
Mechanisation: Similarly, mechanised farming is another advantage for the farmers, where they will be saving not less than Rs 14,000 per acre of land when compared to the expenditure incurred in traditional farming method. The rotovator can be used for both sowing and harevsting of paddy. It will surely come handy with farmers forced to depend on farm labourers to a larger extent, he added.
The minister said that plans are on the anvil to adopt mechanised method to spray pesticides in the coming days, under the scheme.
The scheme, earlier launched in arid areas, was later extended to coastal areas following a request in this regard from farmer leaders from the region. The government has spent Rs 1,414 crore extending the benefit to 1.6 lakh farmers in the State till date, he added.
Applications: As soon as the state government announced the extension of Krishi Bhagya scheme to coastal belt, 271 farmers have applied to avail of the benefit of agriculture ponds in the district. Joint director of agriculture department H Kempegowda said while the work on building 20 ponds has started, the works on remaining ponds will be taken up in the later stage.
Assistant director of agriculture department Tilak Prasad told media persons that 45 applications have been received in Belthangady taluk alone. Tthe department has a set target of 150 ponds in the taluk alone- 50 each at Belthangady, Venur and Kokkada hoblis in the taluk. The farmers with minimum of one acre of land can avail the benefit, while the ponds can be built from the minimum of 10 metre to maximum 21 metre depending on the extent of land, he added.
Farmers in loan waiver issue: Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said the Congress-led state government will bear Rs 8,165 crore as part of the farm loan waiver privilege.
Speaking after inaugurating the newly built building for Agriculture Diploma College and the hostel at Brahmavar, the minister said that the government’s decision to waive the farm loan will benefit 22 lakh farmers. Though the government initially assured to waive only 50% of the loan, its decision to waive Rs 8,165 crore out of 10,700 crore has resulted in much higher percentage, he added.
He said the state government was always keen to waive the loan of the farmers. But was waiting for the response from the Union government to waive the loan borrowed from nationalised banks. Sadly, the central government has betrayed the farmers by getting away with the responsibility.
He added that the farmers are supported by the government by renting out farm machines as mechanised farming is the need of the hour for the sustainability of the agriculture activities. Krishi Yantra Dhare Centres have been set up at hobli level with public private partnership and Rs 75 lakh has been spent on the purchase of farm machines. The rent price is 30% less when compared to the market price, he said.
The government is promoting farming with complete mechanisation. The farmers are being helped out to practise the mechanised farming which will support the idea of 30% less investments, he noted.
He said the Congress government spent Rs 127 crore on the purchase of agriculture farm tools in its first year. In its fourth year, it has earmarked Rs 455 crore for the purpose. It is literally 410 % increase when compared to the previous BJP government, despite having separate agriculture budget, had a hike of just 27 % in the allocations, he criticised.
The minister added that out of 745 Raitha Samparka Kendras, very few were functioning in their own buildings when the Congress took over from BJP. However at present, 400 Raitha Samparka Kendras have own buildings, while the work for another 350 structures are underway. The proposal to start of agriculture colleges at Ankola, Brahmavar, Gangavati, Tumkur and Ballari is before the government.
The tarpaulins that were made available for the farmers was priced at Rs 2,800 during the BJP government. However, the Congress government has ensured it to the farmers at Rs 1,700. Similarly, the amount is also increased from Rs 26,000 to Rs 1.21 lakh, he said.