Though four years have elapsed since the State government announced an agriculture college at Brahmavar in Udupi district, it remains a dream unfulfilled.

The then Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, on his visit to Brahmavar in August 2010, had announced that his government would sanction Rs. 10 crore for the college. But it remained a mere announcement.

The Congress government came into power in 2013 and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah presented two budgets — but no funds were allocated for the proposed agriculture college.

Boost to farming

The proposed college was expected to give a fillip to agriculture in the three coastal districts of Udupi, Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada as none of them have an agriculture college.

This college was expected to come up in 100 acres of land at the Zonal Agricultural and Horticultural Research Station (ZAHRS) in Brahmavar.

According to M. Hanumanthappa, Associate Director of Research at ZAHRS, the research station has 348 acres of land. Of which, 100 acres was expected to be given to the agricultural college.

A full-fledged college would require Rs. 60 crore, including construction of the college building, hostels for men and women, and laboratory.

“A sum of Rs. 20 crore is needed for the first phase works. The new college will be affiliated to the University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Shimoga,” he said.

The lack of an agriculture college has led to students from Coastal districts to study in agriculture in other places such as Mandya, Hassan and Bangalore.

College advantage

According to Dr. Hanumanthappa, agricultural and horticultural crops were being grown in nearly 3.64 lakh hectares in the three coastal districts.

Paddy was being grown in about 1.90 lakh hectares of the 3.64 lakh hectares in the three coastal districts.

B. Ramakrishna Sharma, president of Udupi Zilla Krishik Sangha, said an agriculture college was essential for the development of agriculture in the district. “It will help the children of farmers to study agriculture. The graduates coming out of the college could then use modern farm techniques in their fields leading to an increase in output,” he said.

MLA Pramod Madhwaraj said that a study would be taken up shortly to see if there was demand for agriculture course.

“As of now there is no progress on this proposal. We are also thinking of setting up an IT-BT park at the ZAHRS,” he said.