Chief Minister has hinted at merging agriculture, horticulture and sericulture departments: Krishna Byre Gowda

Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda on Tuesday said that the department has commenced groundwork for the merger of three related departments — agriculture, horticulture and sericulture.

Speaking to presspersons in Bangalore, Mr. Krishna Byre Gowda said that the Chief Minister has hinted at merging these departments, though no timeframe has been fixed. He said that the government felt there was a need to merge the three departments as they are interlinked.

The present set-up has been causing inconvenience to farmers as they have to approach different departments for their work, he said. The government has adopted an integrated approach towards the merger, he added.

Stating that the department is short of about 4,000 personnel, the Minister said that the process has commenced to take about 750 graduates (non-technical) through outsourcing to manage the Raitha Samparka Kendras (farmers’ facilitation centres). Also, orders have been issued to depute 320 personnel from the Sericulture Department to his department to tide over the shortage crisis, he said.

With regard to cotton crop loss due to defective Bt cotton seeds, he said that the government has received more applications from farmers than expected. As a result, survey of affected areas too has been hit, while about 75 per cent of the applications have been disposed of, he added.

The department has asked the seed company, Mahyco, to compensate the affected farmers. After the company disowned its responsibility, the department told Mahyco that it would be blacklisted, he said. The department would assist farmers in approaching the consumer forum, if the company failed to compensate them, the Minister added.

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