Minister for Horticulture and Prisons Umesh Katti here on Friday ruled out providing compensation for potato crop loss in the district. He was addressing a zilla panchayat meeting at the Hoysala meeting hall.

Crops fail in one district or the other, he said, adding that the State was in no position to compensate farmers. It is the responsibility of the Centre to pay compensation for failed crops, he said. The State is ready to take a delegation to the Centre in this regard, he added.

Farmer representatives, elected representatives and officers briefed the meeting about potato crop loss in the district that they claim exceeded Rs. 300 crore in the past two years.

Mr. Katti said the Centre had allotted 500 tonnes of seed potato to Hassan from the National Seed Corporation because the district was a major potato grower in the State.

He directed officers to supply certified seeds on trial basis with first preference to small and marginal farmers who grew mixed crops. He urged farmers to store their produce in the eight cold storages in Hassan. Sell the produce when prices are favourable, he advised them.

He also promised to arrange for bank loans at 3 per cent interest.On farmers' demand for subsidy on seeds and pesticides, Mr. Katti assured them that he would write to the Union Agriculture Minister.

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