Udupi, June 23, 2015: On June 22, Urban Development Minister, Vinay Kumar Sorake, said that it was urgent to provide better marketing facilities to farmers to sell their produce. He was speaking at the inaugural of the Udupi hobli-level agricultural campaign organised by the zilla panchayat and the agriculture and allied departments. .
Minister Sorake said the farmers suffered as they did not get good price for their produce. A mechanism for farmers to sell their produce was essential. It was also necessary to provide cold storage and food processing facilities for both agricultural and horticultural produce. Besides fetching better price, such facilities would add value to the produce.
A large section of the population in DK and Udupi districts depends on agriculture, horticulture and dairy farming. However, agriculture and horticulture did not appeal to the younger generation. Even agriculture degree holders preferred white-collared jobs in the cities to producing in farms.
Though both the Union and State governments had launched several programmes to give a fillip to agriculture, it had not been successful. This was because of the gap between the government departments and the farmers. It is essential to encourage the farmers to take to automation of agriculture and inform them about new techniques to improve the yield of their crops. The government departments should go to the doorsteps of the farmers.
Incentives : Minister Sorake said that the departments should also provide information about the diseases and the pests that could affect their crops and the measures that could be taken to prevent them. Advance information about diseases and pests would go a long way in protecting the crop and thus benefit the farmers.
Water resources played an important role in helping the farmers. The district had a good potential as far as water resources were concerned. This potential needed to be tapped, water and agriculture were inter-connected, the agriculture and watershed departments had been merged at the district and hobli-level for better coordination a few years ago.
Anthony Maria Immanuel, Joint Director of Agriculture, M. Hanumanthappa, Associate Director of Zonal Agricultural and Horticultural Research Station, and Jayalaxmi N. Hegde, Programme Coordinator of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, were present among many participants.