The government had, on August 13, 2010, announced Rs. 10 crore grant

Although the State government announced three years ago that it would set up an agriculture college at Brahmavar in Udupi district, it has only remained a dream.

The announcement was made by the then Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on August 13, 2010 during his visit to Brahmavar. He had said that the government would provide a grant of Rs. 10 crore for the college and release Rs. 5 crore for it. However, nothing has materialised.

The expectations that the recent Budget presented by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah would allocate money for the agriculture college were also not met.

There is no agricultural college in the three coastal districts of Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada. An agriculture college is expected to give a boost to the occupation in these districts.

An agricultural college was expected to come up in 100 acres of land at the Zonal Agricultural and Horticultural Research Station in Brahmavar.

According to M. Hanumanthappa, Associate Director of Research at the research station, the research station has 348 acres of land. “Of this, 100 acres was expected to be given to the agricultural college,” he said.

A full-fledged college would require Rs. 60 crore, which would include construction of the college building, hostels for men and women, and laboratory. A sum of Rs. 20 crore was required for the first phase works. Since a new University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences had come up in Shimoga in April 2013, the new college could be affiliated to it.

Dr. Hanumanthappa said that agricultural and horticultural crops were being grown in 3.64 lakh hectares in the three coastal districts. Paddy was being grown in 1.90 lakh hectares of the 3.64 lakh hectares in these three districts.

“Due to lack of an agricultural college, 70 students from Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts are studying agriculture in agricultural colleges at Hassan, Mandya and Bangalore,” he said.

General Secretary of the district unit of Bharatiya Kisan Sangha Satyanarayana Udupa Japti said that an agricultural college would provide farmers with exposure to scientific methods of farming.

“Farmers in the coastal districts are still following traditional farming methods, which has made agriculture unprofitable. Following scientific methods will help increasing agricultural output,” he said.

MLA Pramod Madhwaraj said that he had given a proposal to the Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda on this issue on July 15. “Mr. Krishna Byre Gowda promised to look into it. He was positive on it,” he said.

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