Udupi, Oct 12, 2014: Speaking after inaugurating the two-day Krishi Mela in Udupi, Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake said ’the construction works of right canal bank of Varahi irrigation project would be completed by year end to irrigate as many as 1,500 acres of farming land in the region’. The kirshi Mela is organized by Zonal Agricultural and Horticultural Research Station, Brahmavar, in association with Agricultural Diploma College, Brahmavar, Agricultural and Horticultural Research Station, Ullal, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Brahmavar, Departments of Agriculture, Horticulture, Watershed Department, Animal Husbandry, Sericulture Fisheries and Forestry, Udupi.
The minister added that government has approved Rs 10,000 crore for projects under irrigation department in the budget. He said Brahmavara Sugar factory and Varahi irrigation project was initiated together to complement each other’s work. However, both the project proved to be unproductive in the past 35 years, he said.
The minister added that the government has announced additional support price up to Rs 250 for the amount announced by the center for paddy. The farmers now get Rs 1,600 per quintal in form of support price. He said the pro farmer programmes initiated by the government has brought in many changes in the lives of the farmers and their farming activities. The government has set up Agriculture Price Commission to ensure adequate price for the growths. The research centers should work to encourage farming techniques that would enable the farmers to go for good yields.
The minister said that government has spent Rs 83 crore in form of compensation package to the farmers, who incurred loss of arecanut crops for rot disease. The minister added that the government is committed to ensure all sort of basic infrastructural facilities and also sufficient compensation package in case of losses due to natural calamities to the farmers, he added.
Delivering a special talk, Banker and Agriculturist K M Udupa lamented that even after various innovations and discoveries in the field of agriculture science, the nation has failed to be self reliant in agriculture sector. He said most of the farmers are ignorant over many issues bothering them and the solution to the problems. For instance, a majority of farmers are ignorant over bodo mixture, although it is one of the ancient discoveries, which can solve most of the farming problems. He alleged that the agriculture department and research centers have failed to deliver the information on the new inventions to the farmers. Recently agricultural scientists are working on ‘Bangarada Bhattha’ which is rich in vitamin A. He said offering compensations is a nuisance, instead the government machinery should think in terms of designing price centric agriculture sector. Farmers are also innovators and the government should make use of their knowledge.
Quoting the example of China, which grows 560 million tons of food cereals in contrast to India’s 263 million tons, the experts said that China with similar agro climatic factors and comparatively less land earmarked for agriculture growths, has achieved greater heights.
He called upon farmers to go for cooperative farming or for contract cultivation. He said fertile agriculture lands should not be discarded, which makes it barren. He stressed that government should concentrate on augmenting the farming activities incorporating innovations in terms of growths, price, and good yields. If not, the nation might undergo agricultural bankruptcy, he said.